San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 17 Reviews

1 Zoo Road (415) 753-7080

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  • San Francisco Zoo
    San Francisco Zoo
    by Jim_Eliason
  • San Francisco Zoo
    San Francisco Zoo
    by Jim_Eliason
  • San Francisco Zoo
    San Francisco Zoo
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Worst experience ever!!!!!!!!!!!

    by martha415 Written Jul 24, 2011

    Love the zoo but what a disappointment from the food!! Every year the food deteriorates it seems like. Its gotten so bad that for now on i will pack my own lunch for the family, I strongly recommend anyone going to the zoo to pack thier own lunch!!! I witnessed such a rude performance from their so called McDonalds Chef, Damien. I was in line and saw a confrontation in which a customer had a undercooked hamburger. That chef argued with the customer and said "that it isn't his problem that his kid was a brat"!!!!!! I can't believe I heard that from that chef! This is supposed to be a customer service oriented facility and never have witnessed something like that being said to a customer in my life! Any how we immediately left that line and didn't eat lunch their that day. We were not the only ones that witnessed that and noticed other people left that line also. Bummer how they choose such people to represent that beautiful zoo.

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  • Worst experience ever

    by martha415 Written Jul 24, 2011

    Love the zoo but what a disappointment from the food!! Every year the food deteriorates it seems like. Its gotten so bad that for now on i will pack my own lunch for the family, I strongly recommend anyone going to the zoo to pack their own lunch!!! I witnessed such a rude performance from their so called McDonalds Chef, Damien. I was in line and saw a confrontation in which a customer had a undercooked hamburger. That chef argued with the customer and said "that it isn't his problem that his kid was a brat"!!!!!! I can't believe I heard that from that chef! This is supposed to be a customer service oriented facility and never have witnessed something like that being said to a customer in my life! Any how we immediately left that line and didn't eat lunch their that day. We were not the only ones that witnessed that and noticed other people left that line also. Bummer how they choose such people to represent that beautiful zoo.

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  • Karnubawax's Profile Photo

    S.F. Zoo - it ain't San Diego!

    by Karnubawax Written Feb 21, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The San Francisco Zoo has been much maligned for years. The zoo is certainly not on anyone’s list of beloved S.F. institutions. Some people hate it... and some of them REALLY hate it!

    The reasons that the zoo is held in such low regard are numerous. First of all, the zoo does have problems, and seems to have more than its share of “mishaps,” and the world famous Christmas Day 2007 tiger escape did not help any. A Bengal tiger jumped out of its enclosure and killed a young man and mauled another before police shot the animal. There is some evidence that the kids (who were drunk and stoned at the time) taunted the animal, and in town you’ll find there’s a lot more sympathy for the tiger than the kids.

    The zoo is in the southwest, as far away from downtown as you can get. Because of its location, it gets some of the worst weather in the City; the average day at the zoo is cold, overcast, windy, and damp.

    But it’s not all bad. If it’s any consolation, it used to be worse! They have made some incremental improvements. The African Savannah exhibit is very good – certainly the best thing that the zoo has done in many years – and, if the rest of the zoo were up to this exhibit’s standards, it would be a fine zoo indeed.

    The penguin area is fun during feeding time, and the big cat area is pretty well done (though with a higher fence now).

    Should you go? Well... even though I’m sure they could use your money, I would put it pretty far down on the list - at least for now. There’s an awful lot of construction going on (which they do a lousy job of hiding, BTW), so it may be that they’re going to open up some new exhibits soon. But, to be honest, I really can’t recommend it.

    If you have kids, then that’s a different story; S.F. doesn’t have a whole lot to offer for kids, so the zoo might be an option. But, if you have a car, I would recommend the Oakland Zoo or even Holly Park Zoo in San Jose (for little kids).

    Don’t get me wrong... it’s not HORRIBLE. But it ain’t San Diego!

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    San Francisco Zoo

    by poetjo Written Jan 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Koala
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    Okay I grew up in the city and frequented the Zoo on a regular basis. I still enjoy going there. There is a rebuilding-revitalization going on there which is definitely enhancing the living space and natural habitat. There are also major safety precautions taking place there after the Christmas incident 2007. They are implementing numerous safety walls etc... to make it safe for both the public and animals.

    I go about once a month and there are changes being made all the time. I love animals and enjoy my experience there. It's always crowded, especially during the summer on the free day, first Wednesday of every month at the zoo so if you want a better experience I would suggest going during the day. Kids love it there and the children's zoo is alot of fun for them.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by Tom_Fields Updated Jan 2, 2007
    Zoo entrance
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    In my book, the San Francisco Zoo ranks second only to the zoo in San Diego. It has a huge collection of exotic animals from all over the world. This is an excellent family outing.

    However, because it's located far from the other major tourist attractions, a visit to the zoo is an all-day trip.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Let us go to the Zoo at SF

    by SLLiew Written Oct 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wonderful zoo to visit to see elepants, polar bears and grizzly bears.

    My favorite of course is the Gorilla enclosure.

    Other hilights are African Savanna exhibit, Lipman Family Lemur Forest and expanded Children's Zoo. So why miss another great zoo.

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  • jag17's Profile Photo

    Smile

    by jag17 Written Mar 10, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I Think I Have Water In My Ear
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    A day at the SF Zoo is always enjoyable. It does seem to be showing it's age a bit, but it's always fun to watch the animals. The polar bears were particularly active during our visit, and made the whole day.

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by smschley Updated Mar 13, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The San Francisco Zoo was built in the 1930's as part of a Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, and currently coves 100 of its 125 acres. There were 10 structures including the Pachyderm and Lion Houses, large Aviary, sea lion pool, bear grottos, Monkey Island, a lake for aquatic birds, pools for otters, beavers and turtles, a restaurant and a plaza with a fountain. The barless pits used to house animals were considered innovative when compared to fenced cages popular during this period.

    Some of these structures, such as the Lion House, the bear grottos, the Elephant House, the fountain and the seal pool, still exist and over the years have undergone extensive renovations. As the zoo changed some of the historical icons remained, such as the recently restored hand-carved wooden Dentzel Carousel (1921) , the Little Puffer miniature steam train (1904), and the Mother's Building (1925).

    Today over 1 million visitors come here annually to see the almost 950 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. The Zoo contains a number of leading edge exhibits: The Lion House is home to rare Sumatran and Siberian tigers and African lions; The Lipman Family Lemur Forest provides a forest setting for five endangered species of lemurs from Madagascar; Gorilla World is an open-air home for a family group of western lowland gorillas; In the South American Tropical Forest building, you can find reptiles, birds, and snakes; At the Puente al Sur there is a pair of giant anteaters, a rare Baird's tapir, and capybaras; Penguin Island, home to a large breeding colony of Magellan Penguins; Primate Discovery Center, home to rare and endangered monkeys; the Feline Conservation Center, a wooded sanctuary and breeding facility for endangered snow leopards and other small cats; and the Koala Crossing, which connects to the Australian Walkabout exhibit with its kangaroos, wallaroos, and emus.

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  • ChicBaby's Profile Photo

    A great place to bring kids

    by ChicBaby Written Mar 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have kids that love to interact (touch) animals, the SF Children's Zoo is a great place to go. They have a petting zoo with goats, chick, donkeys, sheep, and other farm animals. There is even a Nature trail where volunteers have an animal (i.e. racoon or skunk) and you can pet it and learn more about it. There is also the ARC area where animals that need extra care are showcased and Praire Dogs and Meekats. There are lots of areas for kids to play: playgrounds, climbing structures, fields for running, and part of exhibit fun (like a kidsizes tunnel that mimics the praire dog's tunnels, funny mirrors, springy foam). If you want your kids see feeding times, check for the daily schedule at the Big Cat house or the penguins. There is a merry-go-round as well as a little train. There's lots of picnic areas if you'd like to do that, but be warned that the zoo is near the ocean and it can get cold and damp (from the fog). Even if it's sunny, bring a jacket just in case...as "the" survival weather tip in SF. Avoid the free day for the zoo, the first Wed in the month, as it will certainly be a "zoo" that day. Also, park on Sloat where there's plenty of FREE parking. You'll save $5. Family memberships are worth it and there are tons of member only events like "Zoo Night".

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  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by jessicadf Updated Feb 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Elephant

    Update: The elephants have been moved from the San Francisco zoo to another facility. Two elephants died, though it was not proven that it was directly related to the habitat or their treatment at the San Francisco zoo. Unfortunately, however, two deaths cannot be overlooked, and it was really sad. It was determined that the elephant pen was not nearly large enough and there was something about the dirt being too soft for their feet... Sad...

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  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by karenincalifornia Updated Dec 29, 2003

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Giraffe at San Francisco Zoo

    No big city would be complete without a zoo, and San Francisco is no exception. Like most zoos, this one could use more funding and a face lift. If nothing else, the San Francisco zoo would do well to invest in better signage providing more information on the animals.

    Nonetheless, the zoo is worth visiting with children, or with bigger kids, too (including adults) who find enjoyment in seeing the animals.

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  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by jessicadf Updated Jun 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gorillas

    When we got to the gorillas on this day, it was about 10 minutes before they were to be let back in to their enclosure, and presumably, feeding time. Thus, they were all active. The two juveniles were wrestling, playing and generally teasing each other. While the silverback sometimes rattled the door to the enclosure and otherwise waited patiently. There were a couple of what looked like pregnant gorillas patiently wandering about the habitat, avoiding the playful sand-throwing of the juveniles.

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  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    Connecting people with wildlife

    by bladedragon Updated Jan 3, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tatiana?
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    Recently the connection was too intense that a tiger called Tatiana escaped, killed one and badly injured 2 others and finally shot dead in this zoo.

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  • sunsea's Profile Photo

    SF ZOO

    by sunsea Written Jan 30, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Discover animals from around the world and learn about their lives in the wild.
    But where are the snakes? I just saw two or three!

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  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Zoo

    by karenincalifornia Written Dec 29, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zebra at San Francisco Zoo

    Lack of adequate funding aside, the Zoo gives you a good opportunity to admire the majestic beauty of the animals.

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