Sand Diego and zoo animals go together like ice cream and jelly, Ant and Dec and Steven Seagall and “straight to video”. The San Diego Zoo is an animal menagerie of the bountiful kind. It’s home to some 4,000 animals and more than 800 different species. It is also one of the few zoos in the world that play host to the giant panda. As you might imagine it is pretty damn huge, so remember when you bring kids with you –  or just lazy people – that a lot of walking, hills and the occasional canyon might well be involved. However, that shouldn’t stop the zoo from being the first stop on your holiday to San Diego.  Here are some things to look out for:

Monkey Trails

A zoo wouldn’t be a zoo without some meaningful marsupial input. The Monkey Trails are home to, you guessed it (presumably) monkeys, though you might spot the odd hippo, crocodile and turtle along the way.

Panda Trek

The zoo is one of four in the US that has a particularly puffed-up Panda, or more accurately a giant one. The animal home has also been quite successful in making their giant pandas produce giant panda babies, all of which, except one, have been brought back to China to participate in the breeding program there. You can also view the pandas on a webcam right here.

Elephant Odyssey

Opened since May 2009, the dominant feature of this attraction is the elephant habitat which encompasses one male and four female elephants. It also has some old fossils you hear with your eyes as well as life-size statues of some local long dead animals which sit next their modern-day counterparts. Other non-elephantine animals include African lions, jaguars and camels among many, many more.

Tiger River

Tiger River has all sorts of crazy critters careening around its sloping canyon. There are kingfisher, storks, crocodiles as well as the occasional monkey dotted around the river. The real attractions are the Malayan tigers who sit alongside a lovely hillside stream and come encased in their own glass viewing window.

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