Fun Facts & Trivia
How much do you know about the Zoo and all the animals?
Find surprising facts to impress your friends!

Sacramento Zoo Trivia

  • The reptile house was built in the shape of a snake and opened in 1970.
  • The Sacramento Zoo began as the William Land Park Zoo in March 1927. It consisted of approximately 40 animals housed on four acres of land.
  • In 1942, the zoo budget was $150 for one year! In 2005, the zoo budget was $5 million for one year.
  • The Sacramento Zoological Society was formed in 1956 to encourage educational opportunities and zoo expansion.
  • Approximately 48,000 schoolchildren visit the Sacramento Zoo annually.
  • The Sacramento Zoo exhibits over 500 animals, featuring 150 species of carnivores, birds, reptiles, ungulates and primates. 30 species are endangered.
  • Ice Cream Safari, the zoo’s biggest fund-raiser, served 820 gallons of ice cream and 174 cans of whipped cream last year to 3,667 visitors.
  • The Sacramento Zoological Society currently has over 9,300 member households.
  • The total yearly animal food budget is $130,000--$30,000 is spent on fruits and vegetables which are delivered twice a week.
  • The Sacramento Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Five thousand crickets are consumed by animals every week!
  • About 1,400 volunteers donate 34,000 hours to the zoo each year.

Fun Facts

  • The pink color of flamingos comes from the food they eat.
  • Anteaters can eat up to 30,000 insects in one day.
  • Chimpanzees are one of the few animals that use tools. Chimps use sticks to draw termites out of termite mounds.
  • The giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in their neck as a human--seven!
  • Giraffe's give birth standing up! Thats 6 feet that the baby has to drop.
  • The orangutan has the strength of eight men.
  • The first release of captive-born lemurs into the wild involved Black and White Ruffed Lemurs. They were released into Betampona Natural Reserve in Madagascar.
  • Kangaroos are the best jumpers of all mammals and can jump over 30 feet in one hop and 6 feet high, with a speed up to 40 mph.
  • The anaconda is the largest snake in the world.
  • No two zebras look alike. Each has a different stripe pattern.

More Fun Facts

  • The Ostrich can reach speeds up to 43 mph!
  • Lady Ross' Turacos have mobile outer toes, which they are able to rotate forward or backward.
  • Swans are known to have a triumph ceremony. Such ceremonies are when a male attacks a rival suitor, then returns to his potential mate to perform an elaborate ceremony while posturing and calling.
  • Anteaters are able to detect insects with their powerful sense of smell, 40 times that of man.
  • Giant Anteaters do not have teeth; instead, they have tongues can reach as much as 2 ft. in length!

Then & Now

  • The first female Zoo keeper was hired in 1975 at the Sacramento Zoo. Today, there are twelve female Zoo keepers (and the zoo director is a woman).
  • In 1975, Sacramento Zoological Society membership was 260. Today, there are 9,300 member households.
  • The Sacramento Zoo covered 11 acres in 1975 and covers 14.4 acres today.
  • Total front gate receipts for the Zoo in 1975 was $87,903. Total gate receipts in 2005 were $ 1,560,860!
  • Total Zoo attendance in 1975 was 414,119. Total Zoo attendance in 2005 was 447,944.
  • Herkimer, the desert tortoise is the oldest resident at the Sacramento Zoo. He turned 85 this year.  Joey, our oldest male chimpanzee was twelve years old in 1975, he turned 52 this year.  Five of our flamingos and one of our Great hornbills have been at the Zoo over 45 years (since 1966).

The Sacramento Zoological Society  // 501(c)(3) nonprofit
3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822  //  916-808-5888
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