90 Years of Magic!


2019 marks a very special milestone: an amazing 90 years since San Francisco Zoo & Gardens was first established. The origins of the park from a handful of exotic animals in 1929 to today’s leading animal care, conservation and education organization is a true evolution!  San Francisco Zoo began with one man – and one bear. The man was philanthropist Herbert Fleishhacker, and the bear was Monarch, a California grizzly bear.  In the late 1890s, the Zoo was first set in Golden Gate Park, and Monarch became the Zoo’s first animal and inspired the California state flag. Though he never set foot in the Zoo’s current location, Monarch provided the impetus for Fleishhacker to pursue his dream of a City Zoo.  Fast forward to today, and San Francisco Zoo & Gardens has proven that it’s much more than a “City Zoo.” It serves our community in ways unimaginable 90 years ago, inspiring and educating children, youths and guests of all ages. The Zoo is at the forefront in providing our animals with exemplary care and wellness and are delivering on our pledge to continually update and expand our habitats.  We’ve invested in our gardens with over 800 species of plants, and we’ve gone beyond the Zoo’s borders to assist, rescue and support wildlife around the globe.

Share Your Zoo Memories With Us!

We want your Zoo memories for a Zoo Life display that will be part of an overall 90th anniversary exhibit and for use as #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) social media posts. Video and digital photos can be emailed to marketing@sfzoo.org, posted on social media with the hashtag, #SFZoo90. Additionally, photographs can be mailed to, San Francisco Zoo 90th Anniversary, 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco, CA 94132. Submissions should come with a brief description, including year the photo was taken. Please note that the Zoo may not be able to send back the original, so a copy would be best. By sending your photos, you give permission to the Zoo to use it.