Situated along the San Antonio River and next to Brackenridge Park, this zoo is considered one of the finest in America, ... More
San Antonio Zoo
Situated along the San Antonio River and next to Brackenridge Park, this zoo is considered one of the finest in America, housing more than 3,500 animals representing more than 700 species. The recently renovated "big cat" exhibit draws big crowds, as does the bird collection, which is one of the largest in the United States. Allow time for wandering aroundeven though there is plenty of directional signage, the exhibits are a confusing maze. San Antonio Zoo offers weekly educational programs and is also available for private events. Call for further information.
Most of the birds cages are too small, African animals neet more space. To take animals from their natural habitat and put them in a place like San Antonio zoo for me is animal cruelty, I love animals and that make me sad.
I'll begin first with my own experience and then address some concerns of other reviews.
I really enjoyed all of the natural looking exhibits and all of the interactive parts of the zoo such as the butterfly house and lory landing, those birds had such personalities! Also the new tiger exhibit looks great! Definitely try to come early though, as many have stated it gets crowded pretty quick! Especially to see some of the more exciting exhibits I'd hit those first and then meander around to the others. I didn't see much trash though near the picnic area there was a trash can that was overflowing. Overall it was a pretty fun trip!
Now to address concerns:
Parking- As I stated before, get there early the parking lot isn't as large as it probably should be but given the fact that the zoo is located within a park I don't see them tearing up city owned land to increase it. However local parking lot rates seem pretty fair ranging from $5-$10 for the day from what I saw.
Children- In regards to barriers that make it hard for children to see, isn't it better that you lift your child up then see them slip between bars and into the moat? On top of aesthetics I'm sure they built those barriers so no small children could somehow slip in. Imagine the reviews if they weren't there.
Birds, Birds, Birds- As mentioned by another reviewer, the San Antonio Zoo has one of the largest bird collections in the nation, that's what it is known for. Given our hot climate, it's perfect for many exotic bird species and is something to be proud of. Though, I understand if you're a little underwhelmed looking at a extremely rare bird species that just sits on a perch staring back at you.
Polar Bears etc.- Seriously. Polar Bears? In this heat? Of course the zoo is just going to have heat loving species such as African and South American species. I know the zoo had a polar bear years ago but from different accounts that bear looked absolutely miserable in our 90+ degree weather. Having any cold loving animal here would be just shy of torture I think and once again, imagine the reviews if your children had to see those miserable penguins/polar bears on a visit.
Rude people- They're everywhere. I have no advice for your fellow visitors and on my visit didn't have a problem with the ticket holder. Then again I didn't have children with me just two (relatively mature) adults. But I hear a smile can go a long way?
Ramps- I noticed there were plenty of signs warning of drop offs with steps etc. for strollers so I'm not quite sure what the confusion about this came from. Also from what I saw there were nearby ramps near almost all stairs and the ones that didn't have them, had previous warnings showing you to a different route. The only downside of this was in a particular exhibit (can't remember which) where you get to walk around, the ramp portion had you skipping an area. However all those species were represented throughout so it wasn't like you really missed anything. Just something to note.
I hope this helps at least a little bit, just my opinion but I hope some of you are a little more prepared because of it.
i came in to the zoo in 1988 i was with the marines then at fort hood i told the lady there i would let her know where im at . im matthew johnson awarded full metel jacket red beri marine. we took part in bringing some crockadiles to the zoo from the river walk. it was a lot of work but we got them. but i'll be back to visit nice place. im in kingsport tenn 505 dale st 37660 but for know all hopes i don't go back into war so i can have some fun there again thanks.
tHE SAN ANtONiO ZOO iS GREAt! fREE PARkiNG iS NiCE, LiNES ARE NOt LONG, PRiCES ARE ChEAP, GREAt fOR EVERYbodY ANd ANyBOdY, NiCE ViEWS GREAt AttRACtiONS ANd ACtiVE ANiMALS!! NiCE PEOPLE ALWAYS WiLLiNG tO hELp. thiS PLACE iS WhERE tO GO tO hAVe A GOOd DAY!! i GO ALMOSt EVERY WEEk Nd it NEVER GETS OLd!
We are very proud to belong to this San Antonio Zoo. It a great place to spendthe day with the grandkids. The only drawback we have is that the cleaniness of the eating paces and the the grounds. A little more effort should be placed in providing clean atomsphere for guests to enjoy. I realize that the guests are the ones making the mess but it is the responsibility of the Zoo to keep it clean. During our visits we may have seen cleaning crews a hand full of times. Please increase your efforts and hire people to maintain our our Zoo up.
My review wont be overdramatic or as extremely long as DawnK... I believe that sometimes you might get upset over a tiny detail and so for the rest of the day every little thing gets to you. wow! I thought the zoo was a great experience especially for us because we have such a small zoo back home. I experienced no problems with the staff, capacity or any other visitors that day. It was perfect for a family weekend and for our 2 year old. She had a blast and there will definitely be another trip planned.
I had really looked forward to returning to the zoo after not being there for several years. I was disappointed. The buildings and grounds needed upkeep desperately. The animals seemed well taken care of.
The parking was ok.
The admission price was fair.
Loved feeding the birds. They need to do more animal talks on the weekdays.
The butterfly house which they seem so proud was a disappointment. We did not see nearly as many butterflies as they claimed.
WELL THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ZOO I REALLY WANT TO GO AND IF IT IS CROWDED THEN ITS BECAUSE ITS A GOOD ZOO ITS SO FUNNY HOW PPL (LOOK DOWN TO NEXT REVIEW) ARE SO RUDE ITS NOT THE DAMN ZOO'S FAULT YOU DROVE 2 1/2 HRS.!! AND HELLO!!! IF YOU KNOW THE PARKING IS FREE WAKE URSELF UP EARLY TO GET THERE NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE AND BE MAD AT THE ZOO OVER SOMETHING YOU DID!!!
YES..I DO FEEL BETTER...AND I AM GOING TO THE ZOO!!!
Ok, I am going to do my best to give you an accurate detailed description of our trip there. We drove 2 1/2 hours to this zoo. We went today (3/24/10) The parking was a complete nightmare! We got there and the "free parking" was full. The police dept. was blocking the entrance and told us to drive around, & good luck on finding a spot. Boy, was he right! We ended up driving around that entire area down there before giving up & paying $5 for a parking spot. Im not really complaining because $5 wasn't that bad. Walking from the parking lot to the zoo entrance my children encountered a dead (very smelly) cat. You would think one of those police officers would dispose of it. When we got to the entrance of the zoo a very rude woman (who looked like she absolutely hated her job) directed us to a line to purchase our tickets. In order to purchase the tickets we had to go up some stairs which was a burden because we had a wagon with 2 toddlers and a small ice chest in it. We went on a Sunday so I did expect it to be a little crowded, but wow! does the zoo have a capacity limit?? The zoo was OVERLY crowded. I mean we were literally shoulder to shoulder with people MOST of the time at the zoo. & just to put it out there the people who were visiting the zoo had to be the rudest people that I have ever met in my entire life. They weren't making their children behave. I actually watched one boy climbing over the bars into the exhibit while his mom just watched. Children at times pushed me or my husband and at one point a child told my husband to move. This was annoying but not horrible. My breaking point was when my child was holding my hand and a man pushed passed my child to see an animal and knocked her over. No apology or nothing. Just stepped passed her and continued on. My children are very well behaved. They sat in the wagon or stood right next to us. What ever happened to southern hospitality? For the record, i don't blame the zoo for these rude people LOL The zoo has a special section for kids which is fantastic, but the rest of the zoo is not kid friendly. Most of the exhibits have high rock walls and landscaping that obstruct children's views of the animals. This required us to lift each child up to see animals. We had four children so we became worn out rather quickly. As some of the other reviews stated there are a lot of birds! My eight year old son asked me if I was sure this was a zoo. I asked him why and he said well I mostly just see birds. Even though the temperature for the day was only 80; quite a few of the animals were sleeping or just laying there (almost all of the bears and a few monkeys) Because of the amount of people in the zoo it made it almost completely impossible to see a lot of the animals. Quite a few of the walkways were VERY narrow. It is for sure NOT stroller,wagon, or wheelchair friendly. Why in the world would you put stairs in a zoo?? I give them credit.... some areas with stairs have ramps next to them.... but others do not. Some areas don't even warn you that you are coming to a spot where your wagon won't be able to go. Before I sound like a Debbie Downer there were some things that were really nice. The hippos were amazing. We were able to seem them under water, and my children absolutely loved it. They do have a wide variety of interesting looking birds. Even though there seems to be a little too many birds; quite a few of them are really exotic & I had never seen them before. The zoo was clean as were the restrooms that we used. There were plenty of places to sit and rest when we needed a break. **My husband says we may be a little biased because we have been to the Columbus, Ohio zoo and they totally blow this zoo out of the water. I'm sorry to say that we will not be making that 2 1/2 hour drive back to San Antonio nor will we pay $44 for our family to visit again. I do recommend this zoo to adults and very tall children. Maybe try going on a weekday.
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