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 2015, the Zoo budget is over $6 million for one year.
- The Sacramento Zoological Society was formed in 1956 to encourage educational opportunities and fundraise for Zoo expansion.
- Approximately 50,000 schoolchildren visit the Sacramento Zoo annually.
- The Sacramento Zoo exhibits over 500 animals, featuring over 130 species of carnivores, birds, reptiles, ungulates and primates.
- Approximately 1,745 volunteers donate more than 42,000 hours of expertise and hard work annually.
- The total yearly animal food budget is over $150,000—almost $50,000 is spent on fruits and vegetables which are delivered twice a week.
- The Sacramento Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Elderly residents… Herkimer, the Desert Tortoise is the oldest resident at the Sacramento Zoo, he was born the same year that the Zoo opened. Joey, our oldest male chimpanzee turned 52 in 2015. Also one of our Great Hornbills has been at the Zoo almost 50 years.
- The pink color of flamingos comes from the food they eat.
- Lions are the only social cat, living in social groups called prides.
- Anteaters in the wild can eat up to 30,000 insects in one day.
- Chimpanzees are one of the few non-humans that use tools. Chimps use sticks to draw termites out of termite mounds and use rocks and braches to crack palm nuts.
- The giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in their neck as a human--seven!
- Giraffes give birth standing up! That’s 6 feet that the baby has to drop.
- The orangutan has the strength of eight men.
- 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.
- No two zebras look alike. Each has a different stripe pattern.
- Gibbon pairs vocalize together, called “duetting”. These songs help bond the pair as well as advertise their location to other gibbons.
- Dart frogs species come in a range of bright colors. These bright patterns tell potential predators, "I'm toxic. Don't eat me."
- Ruffed lemurs are the only primates that make nests for their infants instead of having the babies hang on to them.
- Fruit bats don’t use echolocation, only insectivorous bats do.
- Aardvarks fast digging skills can protect them from predators by digging a hole and covering themselves within minutes.
- 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 zookeeper was hired in 1975 at the Sacramento Zoo. Today, over 65% of keeper staff are female.
- In 1975, Sacramento Zoological Society membership was 260. Today, there are 9,500 member households
- The Sacramento Zoo covered 11 acres in 1975 and covers 14.4 acres today.
- Total front gate revenue for the Zoo in 1975 was $87,903. Total gate receipts in 2014 were $ 2,761,313!
- Total Zoo attendance in 1975 was 414,119. Total Zoo attendance in 2014 was 498,419