A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL

Making diversity, equity, inclusivity and accessibility the heart of our core values.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is a proud member of the San Francisco Bay Area community, one of the country’s most diverse populations. For over 90 years, we have educated, entranced and delighted young and old about our wonderful and varied wildlife from locally and around the world. Times have changed, early zoos have evolved to focus on conservation of animal species and preservation of wild habitats, and this includes how animals are perceived living under human care. As part of this evolution we have adapted our practices and mindset to better reflect our community. These include our guest-facing programs and events through our suppliers and partners, as we aspire to be both inclusive and accessible to all.

Throughout the generations that SF Zoo has served the community, we have embraced with them the common thread that is our diverse animal collection. As an example, when China loaned us two Giant pandas in 1985, with great pride, our Chinese community stepped up to celebrate their visit, and created a unique bond that exists today. Our cultural events and programs are purposeful to allow ethnic groups to share their culture, and to align certain animal species to their native countries, providing our guests with insight and broadening their minds.

Our guiding philosophy derived from our mission statement is what we refer to as The 3 C’s – Care, Connect and Conservation, plus, importantly, our fourth C: Community. By fostering a conservation ethic through positive experiences with nature, we hope to inspire and motivate people to care and conserve.

DIVERSITY

CARE

 

Understanding diversity is the first step in building representation for all. Like the biodiversity of our animals, it is our duty and responsibility to reflect human diversity of all kinds. Under our first “C,” Care, which essentially describes the importance of caring for wildlife, providing for the health and wellness of our animals, and encouraging others to care for nature, it is important to us to reach as wide an audience as possible. That may be through children learning by connecting to staff that speak their language, or perhaps mentoring students that may see working at a zoo as a possible career path.

INCLUSION

CONNECT

 

We believe that by connecting our guests with animals, they will be inspired to care for nature. We want everyone to have that opportunity, and we also strive to allow our diverse community to have a voice and feel valued. SF Zoo is a public institution and managed by the non-profit San Francisco Zoological Society. We are committed to creating a culture of inclusion for all. Our animals do not see color or abilities, they see kindness.

EQUITY

CONSERVE

 

SF Zoo is a place to be enjoyed by young and old alike, and where anyone’s actions can lead to  conservation of the planet. When it comes to equity, we are cognizant of the importance of creating an atmosphere of equality for all, where their zoo visit has meaning and purpose, whether it is building family bonds or learning about wildlife. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the San Francisco Unified School District providing thousands of students field trip opportunites.

ACCESS

COMMUNITY

 

We believe that by connecting our guests with animals, they will be inspired to care for nature. We want everyone to have that opportunity, and we also strive to allow our diverse community to have a voice and feel valued. SF Zoo is a public institution and managed by the non-profit San Francisco Zoological Society. We are committed to creating a culture of inclusion for all. Our animals do not see color or abilities, they see kindness.

INITIATIVES

FREE DAYS, DISCOUNTS AND MORE

Since 1992, we have opened our doors each month to oer one day per month of free zoo admission, allowing families and individuals entry to enjoy the zoo. Due to COVID-19, and limited capacity mandates, we are not able to oer Free Days at this time. In addition, we oer discounts for residents, disabled patrons, and those who use public transportation, and a variety of community access programs.

 

EQUINE THERAPY PROGRAM

SF Zoo oers the only horse therapy program in a zoo environment through James S. Brady Therapeutic Riding, expanding the healing power of horses in the community.  Here, individuals with special needs benet socially, psychologically and physically through their interaction with horses. This inspiring and impactful program allows people to connect with animals in an innovative way, as horses can connect with humans on a dierent level, calming individuals and sparking joy.

 

ACCESSIBLE AREAS

Emphasis on accessibility on Zoo-grounds continues to be a priority. Sight-challenged individuals can use braille in the tactile Sculpture Learning Garden, while many railings are lower for viewing into habitats by wheelchair users. The Elinor Friend Playground was designed for all abled and disabled guests and Talking Storybooks come in multiple languages.

 

 

GATEWAY HIGH SCHOOL

Our groundbreaking 10 for 10 Gateway High School program targeting 10 African-American students being mentored on zoo careers for 10 weeks was deemed successful and has led to a Summer Leadership Fellowship Program, allowing more students to learn about zoo jobs.