Entertainment Magazine: Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Zoo

Santa Barbara Zoo
500 Niños Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 962-5339


Watch Zoo VIdeos from the SB Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a short distance east from Stern's Wharf. In a beautiful garden setting, visit 500 animals on 30 acres.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to 160 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. More than 500 animals are exhibited in open, naturalistic habitats.

From African lions, Baringo giraffes, lemurs, meerkats, gorillas, gibbions, penguins, birds, fish and more- the Santa Barbara Zoo provides a living view from nearly every portion of the planet.

The entire Zoo comprises thirty acres of botanic gardens, formal gardens and lawns, native plants and trees, cacti and succulents, ornamentals, exotic species and less formal plantings arranged throughout the park to recreate natural habitats.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is located approximately 30 minutes from Ventura, 50 minutes from Solvang and 90 minutes from Los Angeles.

Transportation to the Zoo:

Shuttle: While it is not suggested for the average tourist to walk (or jog) the distance, for 25¢ a person, the Downtown Waterfront Shuttle will take you from the entrance of Stern's Wharf to the entrance of the Santa Barbara Zoo. The shutle runs a;pmg State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard.

Bus: The Zoo is also served by Bus Line 14.

Car: From U.S. 101, take either the Milpas Street or Hot Springs Road/Cabrillo Boulevard exit to Cabrillo Boulevard. Turn towards the mountains at Niños Drive.

Parking Fee: Zoo parking is $3 per car. Parking is free for Zoo members and reserved groups.


Adults are $10 (ages 13-59) and seniors are $8 (over 60). Children between ages 2-12 are $8 each, and children under 2 are free. Zoo visits can be free by becoming a Zoo member. Call 805-962-5339 for more information.


The Santa Barbara Zoo is open everyday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving and CHristmas. Tickets are sold until 4:00 p.m.

Food & Gifts:

A wide menu selection is available atthe Ridley-Tree House Restaurant. Choose from a variety of sandwiches, combinations and kid's menu. Snacks are provided at several locations throughout the Zoo. There are numerous tables and lawn areas for picnics. The Zoo also has a gift store atth entrance.

The Santa Barbara Zoo maintains a smoke-free environment.

Current Santa Barbara Zoo Exhibits

Animal Facts: Database

The Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens opened its doors to the public in August 1963. The Zoo continues to serve and fulfill its mission: preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research, and recreation.

The Santa Barbara Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a vital cooperative conservation program comprised of American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) accredited partner zoos and aquariums.

Over 200 different species are managed, aimed at maintaining genetic diversity within captive populations, sustaining these captive populations, and guarding against extinction.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to help preserve thousands of animals locally, regionally and around the world through unequaled wildlife conservation programs.

The Santa Barbara Zoo depends on the support of the community, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements. Most zoos are publicly funded municipal operations.


Santa Barbara Tour Index

Photos and videos by Robert Zucker


Visitors Delighted by Dinosaur Designed by Hollywood Create Shop

Summer visitors to the Santa Barbara Zoo are delighted with its newest resident: a life-sized, adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex that runs, roars, snorts, blinks, growls and even poops in the show "How to Train Your Dinosaur" running three times daily.

[See You Tube video at

Fifteen-feet from nose-to-tail and 7-feet tall, this amazingly lifelike dinosaur, named “Duncan,” was designed by the Chiodo Brothers, one of Hollywood’s top creature shops ("Dinner for Schmucks," "Elf," "Gremlins.").

During the family-friendly 15-minute lively show, the human hosts introduce Duncan and attempt to demonstrate the special care received by the Zoo’s animals – with hilarious results. Just as keepers have trained the Zoo’s gorillas to allow their teeth to be brushed, Duncan is given a chance to improve his oral hygiene. But it’s going to take a lot of patience and positive reinforcement, just like with pets at home and the Zoo’s animals, before he is trained.

“Duncan is a perfect example of the evolution of an idea,” said Zoo CEO Rich Block. “We wanted to give our guests a behind-the-scenes look at the ways we work with our animals, but in a fresh and focused way. We can’t bring the gorillas out every day and show their teeth getting brushed, but we can show Duncan getting the same positive reinforcement we use with the gorillas and other animals here at the Zoo. The fun part is – he learns anew every show, as does the audience.”

"Anytime we can make a dinosaur, we’re happy,” says Edward Chiodo. “We love dinosaurs, and learn something every time we make one. This time, we learned more about weight distribution through the way we had to counterbalance the tail to allow for the head movements.” Duncan’s designer is Dave Barrington Holt, former Creative Supervisor of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Duncan's operator wears the backpack and has full control of the T. Rex’s actions, including his head and jaw, and tail movements. Eye blinks are run by a computer program, and he poops from a preloaded cylinder controlled by the operator. The operator sees ahead via images from a pinhole video camera located in the tip of Duncan’s nose. The operator also wears a headset that allows him to make sounds through a voice synthesizer.  Duncan is sponsored by the Duncan Family.

"How to Train Your Dinosaur" is performed daily at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and is free with Zoo admission. For more information, visit www.sbzsoo.org.

(TRAVPR.COM) USA - July 26th, 2011

Feeding time at the Penguin aquarium.

The Crawford Family Penguin House
Opened in June 2006, the former California sea lion exhibit is now home to 14 Humboldt penguins and five Inca terns. The penguin exhibit offers both above-ground and underwater viewing, as well as nesting boxes built in for future breeding possibilities. The adjacent aviary currently features five Inca terns, and will be home to more birds native to the South American area. Humboldts are found along the Pacific coast of South America from Peru to Chile. (Source: Santa Barbara Zoo)

Pink flamingos argue over territory or mates.

Chilean Flamingo (Breeding)
The Santa Barbara Zoo recently had its first successful hatching of Chilean flamingos in ten years. The Zoo's 33 adult flamingos produced 14 eggs in 13 nests (an additional egg was placed in an incubator). From those eggs, five hatched. The flamingos are on exhibit directly across from the lemurs at the Flamingo Pool. At first, the chicks have downy gray plumage but soon grow and obtain their distinctive pinkish coloration. (Source: Santa Barbara Zoo)

Giraffes roam in wide open spaces.

Instructional billboards in both English and Spanish.

Exotic birds, parrots and tucans inhabit the lush gardens.

Coming Soon: California Condors (Endangered, SSP, Not Breeding)
As early as 1986, the Zoo's staff veterinarian was involved with the California condor recovery effort led by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and in 1987 Zoo staff was part of the team that rescued the last bird in the wild. Years of research, care and breeding have now made it possible for these birds to again soar in their native habitats - including the Santa Ynez Mountains, which can be seen in a spectacular panorama from the site of a new Condor exhibit at the Santa Barbara Zoo. The Zoo will become one of only two facilities where the public can view these spectacular birds when this exhibit is opened in the future. (Source: Santa Barbara Zoo)

Santa Barbara Tour Index

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