5 Must See Exhibits at the San Francisco Zoo

With world famous attractions, the San Francisco Zoo is one of the most popular destinations for children on summer vacation. This zoo is home to around 1,000 animals, and spread across 100 acres. Due to the relatively large size of the zoo, it may be difficult to see every animal. Below is a list of the must see exhibits when visiting.

Black Rhinoceros

Southern Africa

“Elly” as she goes by, is one of the most famous Rhinoceroses in the world. Known for her breeding capabilities, Elly has mothered 14 calves, all of which have been relocated to different locations. Elly is a Black Rhinoceros, native to the southern parts of Africa. However, due to extreme poaching, the Black Rhinoceros is critically endangered with 2 of 3 subspecies already classified as extinct. As if Elly’s resume wasn’t large enough, she is the oldest Rhinoceros in the World. With that being said, there is approximately 5,000 Black Rhinoceroses left in the world so be sure to visit Elly’s exhibit next to the hippos.

Sumatran Tiger


The Sumatran Tigers are located in the Big Cat Grotto next to the Lion house, making it one of the more popular exhibits at the Zoo. These tigers are unique because their stripes can be compared to human fingerprints meaning that no two tigers have the same pattern. Unfortunately, these tigers are also critically endangered with only 400 left in the world, and are approaching extinction at a swift rate. This exhibit also welcomed a cub in 2013 making news headlines everywhere. Be sure to stop by the Grotto and see these beautiful cats.

Bald Eagles

United States of America

Housed on Eagle Island in the Bear Country region of the Zoo, is the Bald Eagles. These beautiful birds are the “poster-children” of America, making them one of the most important aspects of the Zoo. Since 2006 the San Francisco Zoo has made enormous conservation efforts in the breeding and releasing of captive Bald Eagles by maintaining this exhibit. What also makes this exhibit special is that 3 injured Bald Eagles have been able to rehabilitate here and make this area home. When visiting their exhibit it may take a few minutes to locate the birds, but they are well worth the trouble.



The San Francisco Chimpanzees are an older group making them unique because they have already surpassed their normal life expectancy. They can attribute that to the outstanding care that they receive at the Zoo. In their exhibit they can be seen carrying out daily activities and mimicking human behaviors with tools that they make on their own. One thing to ponder when visiting the Chimpanzee’s is that they share 98% of their DNA with humans, equaling more than they share with their larger companions the Gorillas. The Chimpanzees are located in the Primate Discovery Center and are thought to be the main attraction so be sure to visit.

Red Pandas


Considered one of the world’s cutest is the Red Panda. Normally found in China and parts of India, this small mammal can be found at the zoo chomping on Bamboo and roaming the Animal Planet designed treehouse. Although they are named “pandas”, the Red Panda is more closely related to the raccoon family as one can notice by looking at them. The Red Pandas are located in the Exploration Zone at the Zoo making it a popular attraction on a daily basis for the younger crowds.

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