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“I have to agree; this zoo needs some TLC”
Review of San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo
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$12.99*
and up
San Antonio Zoo General Admission
Ranked #42 of 281 things to do in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: With more than 8,500 animals on 56 acres, there's plenty of fun for the whole family. The San Antonio Zoo was first established with a donation from George W. Brackenridg in the 1800s. Two of the first cageless exhibits in the U.S. opened here in 1929 and the bird collection is one of the world's largest.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited San Antonio during Christmas week and when looking for something to do on Christmas Day, we saw the zoo was one of the few attractions open. So, we went and were kind of sorry we did. I have to agree with the other posters who say this zoo is in bad need of some upgrades both for the animals and the visiting public. I will say the price is right (now I know why) and parking is free, but still not sure it was worth the money.

Thank Deb62862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,219 - 1,223 of 1,512 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

I am not altogether a tree hugger type, but I empathize with some of the other reviewers that have mixed emotions about the zoo. I can only hope that the animals here captive are mostly those that have been raised in captivity and know nothing of freedom. From what I can gather, the animals here are at least treated as humanely as any zoo can treat confined wildlife.

As a child I visited the zoo often with my family. My favorite aspect of the zoo then was to ride the elephants. Yes. You actually rode in a rudimentary box on the back of the mammoth and could pretend you were "Boy" soon to meet Tarzan at the waterfall. This was a big money-maker for the zoo as there was an extra charge for this activity. Insurance risk mitigation probably prevents them from offering this now though I know of no injuries that took place to man or beast.

Currently, I think the rain forest and "open" aviary are my favorite exhibits. They give you more of an idea of what the incarcerated animals habitat is like in nature and allow the animal some degree of additional freedom. And the various simian exhibits - what a riot! I think it is more entertaining to watch the people scratching their armpits and acting out other inane behaviors to get the monkeys to imitate.

I am thankful that the zoo administration thought better of continuing with a particular animal in the gorilla exhibit though. Poor "Mighty Joe Slung" was known for grabbing big handfuls of his own fresh poo and slinging it at the unsuspecting onlookers. I am sure he was thinking, "that''ll teach 'em to make fun of me!". I have never seen people scatter so fast and have never laughed so hard when some of his wind-ups and powerful (both in force and odor) deliveries were right on target . . . . I knew better than to get in the line of fire!!

My suggestion is that you do visit the zoo often as the funds collected for your admission can only better the conditions for the animals that we all enjoy seeing.

Thank OmniEpicurean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We spent the night in the hippo habitat with an educational / scouting program overnighter. The planning for the evening was well thought out with activities being broken up to maintain interest and keep us engaged in the learning program. There needed to be better directions or even just a sign at the zoo to know where to park and where to meet to enter as the education program office was down a dark road with construction barriers, making it very difficult to know where to go. The program itself was good, engaging youngsters to learn about different animal tracks that could be found in our local area as well as the opportunity to learn about and touch several different species of animals. Be prepared for hippos that like to make a lot of noise in the early morning hours...

Thank MinimalTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

While keeping the children busy in San Antonio, I took them to the San Antonio Zoo. We have a membership family pass, so anytime we are in town we go, but this time, I specifically asked when the elephant feeding took place, as I heard it was really good. So, I was told 11:30 was feeding time, and we had about 1:30 to kill, which is not hard in the zoo.

We saw lots of monkeys out and horsing around this time, even got to see the tiger, who is usually not awake. He was not onlyl awake, but looking right at us! We saw some bears moving around, kangaroos chasing birds and even the large rhinoceros came walking right up to the wall so we could get a good look...and pictures.

The snakes adn reptiles were really creepy and the kids did not want to stay too long in there. But we managed to spend our time looking at things until the elephant show at 11:30. We got a front row location along the fence and the zookeepers came out with treats and toys for the elephants. They had them retrieve things, stand on two legs, kneel, and trumpet, which they warned us would be loud. It was very loud, but really cool to hear. Normally, the elephants are just walking around and don't make any sounds.

My little one just loved it. He already wants to come back and see them again.

One more adventure we took was the train, just outside the zoo. It takes about 20 minutes round trip and it is a neat little train ride that takes you across the San Antonio river to the
Witte museum, where you can get off, or stay on and head back to the station. It makes one more stop at the Japanese Tea Garden before the station. You would expect this to be pricey, but it really is not. Good value and fun for the kids. Train whistles and rings a bell. Very nice ride.

Thank Doctrknow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 13, 2012

We visited the Zoo on the Thanksgiving day. It was a great experience. I was amazed to see such a variety of animals and birds. Got some great close up pictures of the animals.

Thank Houstonian2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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