This is a small zoo, but still lots of things to see. Great for a morning or afternoon adventure. After visiting massive zoos like the San Diego Zoo, where it takes days to see everything, it's actually nice to get to see all of the exhibits in a half a day. The few staffers I talked to were very friendly and helpful, and seemed to really care about the animals. And don't miss the penguin with the boot, so cute and it's such a great story.
The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5, was the $6 parking fee (at a whopping 43% of the cost of an adult admission ticket). If they really need the money, I would much prefer they raise the admission ticket prices so I feel like I am supporting the animals, as opposed to supporting a crappy little parking lot.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 2, 2013
I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed your visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo. Thank you for taking the time to write a review for TripAdvisor to share your thoughts on your experience. We value the feedback we receive from visitors as it helps us address concerns and improve our guests' experiences. It might be helpful to point out that the Santa Barbara Zoo is owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation, a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization. The Zoo receives no tax support, so all of our earned revenue from admissions, parking, memberships, retail, food service, etc. allows us to meet our annual operating expenses which will exceed $10 million in 2014. Our guests make the Zoo's operation possible through their purchases which also support our field conservation program. Our wildlife conservation work focuses on local species such as the Channel Island fox and the California condor (both on exhibit in the "California Trails" complex). Thank you for adding the Santa Barbara Zoo to your travel plans. I hope you will come back again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.