San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Are Open!

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos



With a duck-like bill, a fur coat, big webbed feet, and a paddle-shaped tail, the platypus looks like no other mammal. And even more unusual: this mammal lays eggs. The platypus is a monotreme (like the echidna), which lays eggs, incubates them, and nurses its young when they hatch. Found only in Australia (in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania), the platypus lives in freshwater habitats, including streams and ponds.

Kangaroos and Wallabies

What's the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby? They are both macropods—marsupials that carry their young in a pouch, have large hind legs that are ideal for hopping along at impressive speeds through Australia's savannas or forests, and a long, thick tail that can act as a third leg to help them balance. Kangaroos are the largest macropods, and wallabies are slightly smaller. At Walkabout Australia, you can walk among western gray kangaroos and red-necked wallabies, and observe their similarities and differences for youself!


Matschie's Tree Kangaroo

Instead of hopping on the ground, Matschie's tree kangaroos climb high in the trees of montane rain forests in Papua New Guinea, where they feed on leaves. With a body just over two feet long—and a tail that is almost that long—these unusual animals look something like a cross between an opossum, a long-tailed lemur, and a koala. Long claws give them the ability to securely hold a position in the treetops, and their long tail helps them maintain perfect balance as they navigate along narrow branches.

Przewalski’s Horse

How do you say Przewalski's horse? It is pronounced sheh-VAL-skee or per-zhuh-VAL-skee or even PREZ-val-skee, depending on the speaker. It is also known as the Asiatic wild horse or Mongolian wild horse. No matter what you call it, the Przewalski's horse is the closest living relative of the domestic horse.

Wild Cattle

Wild cattle are larger members of a scientific grouping that includes antelope, goats, and sheep. We have herds of gaur, bantengs, and Cape buffalo living in large savanna habitats. You can see the breeding herd of Cape buffalo during an Africa Tram tour. To see the gaur, bantengs, and our bachelor buffalo herd, take a Caravan Safari or Cart Safari. We also have ankole cattle, a domesticated breed native to Africa famous for their huge horns.


All antelope species have horns. In some species they are only found on the males; in others, both males and females have them. Horns stay attached, unlike a deer’s antlers that shed each year. Some antelope horns twist in interesting spirals; others are ridged. Still others grow in wide curves with a sharp point on the end.

The Safari Park opened to the public in 1972, but we started moving animals into the Park's savanna habitats two years earlier. Among the Park’s first residents were sable antelope and gemsbok.


Lemurs are a type of prosimian, primates that evolved before monkeys and apes. They live in only one area on Earth, Madagascar and the nearby Comoro Islands. Lemurs are the world’s most endangered group of mammals.

Ring-tailed lemurs use their tail for communication, holding it up so other lemurs can see it in the brush. Males have stink fights by rubbing their wrist scent glands all over their tail, then waving it in front of their rival's face.


The tiger is one of the world’s most revered animals, a symbol of power, strength, and regal dignity. It has come to represent the essence of wildness itself. Rare and elusive, few have seen a tiger up close. At the Safari Park’s Tull Family Tiger Trail, we transport you deep within the forests of Sumatra and into the realm of these majestic big cats.

Greater One-horned Rhino

Many people describe these rhinos as armor-plated, but they are just covered with a layer of skin that has many folds. Greater one-horned rhinos are native to the humid, swampy areas of Northeast India and Nepal.

All rhinos enjoy a good soak in the mud. But for greater one-horned rhinos, this helps them get through times of high humidity, when insects can be a problem. Plus, that cool mud feels so good! Rhinos may often share a wallowing spot without any fighting, as if it’s neutral ground.

African Rhinos

Black rhinos and white rhinos are the same color—a brownish gray! Both live in eastern and southern Africa but eat different foods. The wide mouth of the white rhino is perfect for grazing on grasses. The more narrow, prehensile lip of the black rhino is great for pulling leaves and shrubs into its mouth. Other names used for these two species are broad-lipped and hook-lipped. Guess which name belongs to which rhino!


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