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Los Angeles Zoo

Address Griffith Park Zoo,
How to Find it:
Open: Open daily at least 10 a.m to 5 p.m. except December 25. Summer (July 1 to Sept. 4): Sundays – Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Prices: Adults: $8.25 Children (2 to 12): $3.25 Senior Citizens (65 and older): $5.25 Children (under 2): Free
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
Click here for a Link to the Zoo’s own Web Pages
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This critique last updated:  Jul 2008

Visitor Reviews

Review by JPonti July 2008


I'm an animal lover and expert and have been to several zoos around the country. This is one of the worst. the exhibit technology is from the 1960's and much of the exhibits are small and unnatural.  the exhibits are C-shaped and are small, overgrown, and dirty. The larger exhibits were dusty and dirty padlocks with a sad and lonely animals. I almost cried seeing a single bull elephant standing still, lonely, and sad in the middle of a small habitat or a single lion pacing on a small stretch of land. also, the technology being used is outdated and not the best for the animals. Also, the zoo is very unorganized and many exhibits and places that could be used for better habitats are empty. There is a lot of construction and support so there is hope. I love L.A. and the animals and it would be wonderful for a nice zoo to be there.


Review by Tammie April 2006

If I had to rate this zoo on a scale of 1 to 10 it would get a -3.  I have been to many zoos and I have to say this was the worst I have ever been too.  The grounds were in awful condition. There was garbage everywhere, garbage cans were overflowing, the bathrooms were disgusting… I understand thousands of people go through there on a daily basis but we were there for about four hours and I never saw one groundskeeper. I never saw any zoo employees at all for that matter other than the ones working at the booths. As far as the exhibits go I have never seen animals that live in such filth. The ones that had still water in there enclosures had slime growing in the water.  The faeces was overflowing in most of the habitats. The animals were not clean and most of the enclosures were very small for the animals that were in them.  And the smell coming from some of the exhibits, especially the flamingos, was absolutely sickening.  I have been to zoos in small towns without a lot of funding that were cleaner and nicer than the L.A. zoo. I guess my expectations might have been a little high because I figured that a large zoo like this that receives thousands of dollars of funding every year would be at the very least clean. I will definently never return to this zoo and if anything they should be reported for animal cruelty. I have never seen such thin and unhappy animals in the same place before in my life.


This review submitted by J Andrew : July 2005
This zoo is pretty pathetic right now. All the major exhibits are under construction, and they have way too much space allocated to too many species of the exotic goat. Come here in a year or so when everything hopefully is done.

Visitor Reviews (1)

This review submitted by Lori Lamb: November 2000
As Los Angeles residents, my husband and I are frequent visitors to the L.A.Zoo, located at Griffith Park. We have had a membership at the Los Angeles Zoo for over a year and a half. At $50 for a couple or a single-adult familyand $60 for a two-adult family, membership really is a bargain. Although a part of me is always a little sad to see animals kept in enclosures and cages, I believe the educational benefits of a high-quality zoo outweigh the negatives of keeping wild animals captive. It's important to make people aware of the beautiful creatures with which we share theworld. In addition, the Zoo has ongoing projects to improve habitats and make them more natural, which shows a real dedication to helping the animals to feel more at home. The Zoo is situated near where the 5 and 134 freeways meet, and is easily accessible from Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Studio City, Los Feliz, North Hollywood and many other parts of Los Angeles. Close to the freeway exit, a short drive will lead you to a parking lot with ample spaces. The Zoo shares the parking lot with the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage – a place I've yet to visit (but you can bet there'll be an opinion written when Ido).Entrance is via a raised walkway, and there are several ticket windows to accommodate visitors who need to purchase tickets. Maps are provided as yougo through the turnstiles, and once inside, there are a number of routes you can take. I still discover places I haven't seen when I go there, and I've been there at least a dozen times. The Zoo is divided into areas based on the continent where animals are found. It's a unique way to display them and allows for a more natural layout, since animals from similar terrain, weather, etc., are kept together. Each exhibit is uniquely tailored for that species, and improvements areoften made to increase the quality or size of an exhibit. The Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountain exhibit is particularly impressive. A huge enclosure, there are hills, valleys, and a large waterfall cascading down on the large rocks upon which the chimps like to sit. Above the exhibit is a chimpanzee” penthouse” where they sometimes go for exercise and observation. Other exhibits are equally impressive. The Koala House features not only koalas, but also rat kangaroos and echidnas, for those who can spot them inthe dim light. The Koala House is kept darkened throughout its open hours inorder to resemble the nocturnal environment koalas find most comfortable. Itis divided into 3 large areas, with fences between them and openings in the fences so that the animals can move from one to another. There is vegetation native to Australia, and flash cameras are not allowed so that they are not disturbed. I could go on and list the Red Ape Rainforest or any number of other exhibits that are as natural as they can be in a captive environment. Granted, some of the exhibits at the Zoo are still a bit small, but they aremoving through the Zoo and improving them as they can. The food at the Zoo is pretty good, and the prices are actually quite reasonable — especially if you factor in the 10% you save with a membership card. A number of eating venues are available, including the requisite chicken strips/fries/hamburgers-type offerings, a Mexican restaurant and pizza. Crowds usually aren't too bad but the walkways can get a little hectic at times. We went on the Fourth of July and it wasn't that crowded, but I think the heat kept some people away. You have to keep an eye out for the Stroller Nazis — sometimes they'll just run you right over, especially with the double wides, but if you have quick reflexes you won't have a problem. Smoking is not allowed and signs are posted to that effect, warning people that smoking is not good for the animals. Most people abide, but occasionally you'll get an inconsiderate person who will do it anyway (such as the woman we saw outside the reptile house, sitting UNDER a No Smoking sign and puffing away).This is a great place to go if you love animals, want someplace fun and/or educational to take your family, like to take pleasant group outings, enjoy communing with nature…I'd recommend it to just about anyone!

Visitor Reviews (2)

This Review submitted by Niels Johs. Legarth Iversen April 2001
In the L.A. area you find several notable zoological sights, including the Griffith Park zoo. In spite of rumours to the contrary you can get around in L.A. by public transportation: to get to the zoo, take bus 96 or 97 from Downtown. After the entrance you pass an area where many administrative functions are placed, plus a modest section centered around a mountain with a waterfall and a cave, an animal theatre, a meadow and other things. When I first visited the zoo (in 1989) I was somewhat disappointed at this point, because the scale was so small and I expected the rest to be equally limited. But the main part of the zoo lies a few meters further on, and I soon found out that the Griffith Park zoo is anything but small . The main part of the zoo is almost round, with an outer circle that opens out to special sections and an wobbly inner circle. However the zoo is organized along geographical principles, and the most appropiate way to see the place must be to walk from the outer ring towards the centre and then outwards again till you have made the whole tour round. Generally speaking, when you stand at the entrance to the main part of the zoo, the 'treetops' are in front of you, South America is to your right with Eurasia behind it, Australia is left with North America behind it, and the area from the centre towards the far end of the park is taken up by African fauna. The numbering of my zoo plan (admittedly a couple of years old) presupposes you to walk left first, to the aquatic area. Here you find everything from polar bears to penguins and capybaras. Next section is 'Australia', where you find not only cangaroos, cassowarys and emus, but also koalas and kiwis. Koalas are rare in zoos outside Australia because of strict regulation, and kiwis are downright world class attractions and almost never seen outside their home country (New Zealand). Well, to be true they are also rarely seen in L.A. I have visited the Griffith Park zoo on three occasions and I have each time had major problems to locate these elusive aliens in the dim light of their cage. After Australia you arrive at the somewhat larger North American section. You find bisons, pronghorn and … hey, Arabian oryxes and Bactrian Camels?? From here you pass on to the large African section. There are middle sized enclosures for the main hoofed animals, from giraffes over black rhinos to bongos, gerenuks and several kinds of hyrax . Here and there you also find round structures with you in the middle and cages all around, containing for instance monkeys and duikers. Further on you find Eurasian fauna, – though in practice the European contributions are few. There are several Indian rhinos, red pandas, orangs and so one (plus elands from Africa). 'South America' boasts mountain tapirs and jaguars, but also several kinds of tamarins and uakaris (rare monkeys with bald red faces, somewhat akin to fat elderly tourists with a severe sunburn). In this section you also find several kinds of animal shows. I think this short tour through the park has marked clearly how well stocked this zoo is, – but more important, it is also a place where you feel that animal welfare is taken very seriously. Enclosures and cages are consistently made to look like natural habitats for the animals. By the way, it has only been at its present location since 1966, so it is still a relatively young zoo.


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