San Diego Zoo Animals and Attractions: The Must-See List

As a longtime member, I have a list of favorite San Diego Zoo animals, attractions, and experiences to look out for.

It’s impossible to see and do everything in a single day or even two days, so knowing what the highlights are will help you get the most out of your visit.

The curious bears are known to swim up right up to the windows much to the delight of the lucky viewers who happened to time their visit right.


Okapis look like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, but they are actually related to giraffes. Go out of your way to see these San Diego Zoo animals because not many other zoos have them.


Females and joeys are separated from males in the exhibit and an elevated walkway weaves between the two spaces so that guests can take a closer look.


The guenons are known to hop on hippo backs for rides. Like the polar bears, you can view their underwater habitat through the glass so have your camera ready in case they float by.


The elephants are more or less always out eating, hanging out in the shade, or playing with their toys, so you can visit them nearly any time of the day (though there isn’t much shade over here).


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