by Yudi Lim
The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Global, is the largest zoological membership association in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half million people. San Diego Zoo pioneered the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses the giant panda. In 2013 the zoo added a new Koalafornia Adventure, providing an Australian experience.
It is privately operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 100 acres (40 ha) of parkland leased from the City of San Diego, and ownership of all animals, equipment and other assets rests with the City of San Diego. The San Diego Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and a member of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). San Diego Zoo Global also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.