San Diego Zoo among top two zoos on the planet according to

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zoo1Everyone who has ever lived or visited our fair city knows how great the San Diego Zoo is. Now, has made it official. Our zoo has been named the second-best zoo anywhere. According to the 2014 Travelers’ Choice rankings, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska is considered the finest zoo on the planet, and America’s Finest City’s zoo is next.zoo4

The standings were determined from millions of reviews, comments and opinions compiled by the vacation and travel resource. Their ranking is based on calculations that reflect both the number and intensity of reviews of aquariums and zoos from around the world, all collected and collated from a year-long view of visitors to the website.

Other local attractions named in the survey were: the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, listed as the 4th finest zoo in America, and 11th-best in the world; SeaWorld, ranked in 17th place among American amusement parks; and La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium, the U.S.’s number 14 aquarium. In a interesting quirk, the zoo was the 8th best activity in town, according to visitors to San Diego, following such locations as the USS Midway Museum (ranked second) and the Fort Rosecrans Cemetery, in fourth place.

zoo6The world famous zoo in San Diego came from the aftermath of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, held in Balboa Park. Many of the exotic animal exhibits were going to be abandoned. A noted San Diego civic leader of the time, Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth is said to have heard a lion roar during the Exposition, and realized a great, up-and-coming city like San Diego needed a great zoo.zoo2

He founded the Zoological Society of San Diego in 1916. Making use of the animals brought here for the 1915 Fair, he utilized protocols established by the Bronx Zoo. The location of the zoo was solidified in 1921 when a portion of Balboa Park was permanently reserved for the Zoo at the time and for future growth.

zoo3Today, there are more than 3,500 animals comprised well over 600 different species. The zoo originated the practice of no cages for its inhabitants, with most of the animals in open-air habitats. The San Diego Zoo is one of a select few anywhere that are home to, and have bred giant pandas.

Congratulations for this prestigious ranking to one of the reasons San Diego is so fabulous a place to live and visit.

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