About San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo®, operated by San Antonio Zoological Society, is a non-profit organization committed to securing a future for wildlife. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the zoo’s mission is to inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors each year and is open year-round. San Antonio Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America, and Humane Certified by American Humane.

Our Core Values

It starts with the heart. We are the stewards of our planet and it’s animals. Through the stories, connections and interactions we make between guests and each other, we will inspire others to care.

The spark forms a flame. Our hope is to see guests and zoo crew become advocates for wildlife, carrying the torch for conservation and education and lighting the way for others around them.

Turning passion into action. We invite others to join us in our mission, investing their time, resources and talents in the work of securing a future for wildlife.

Multiplying the mission. Our aim is to see guests and zoo crew own the mission for themselves, becoming partners with us in a shared vision.


San Antonio’s first zoo consisted of a collection of animals assembled in San Pedro Park in the 1800s. In 1914, Colonel George W. Brackenridge, donated buffalo, elk, deer, monkeys, a pair of lions, and four bears on land he had deeded over to the city in what is now known as Brackenridge Park. This collection became the San Antonio Zoo.

In November 1929, two of the first cageless exhibits in America–the Barless Bear Terraces and the Primate Paradise–opened, offering visitors unprecedented views of animals. When the Richard Friedrich Aquarium was dedicated in 1948, it was described in the local press as “the world’s greatest.” The Hixon Bird House, funded through the efforts of Colonel Frederick C. Hixon, opened in 1966, featuring a simulated tropical rain forest and free-flying birds. The zoo’s bird collection is now one of the world’s largest.

San Antonio Zoo is a 50+ acre zoo home to over 750 species, some of which are endangered or extinct in the wild, and an annual attendance of more than 1 million.



San Antonio Zoo released its 2022 Annual Report which detailed the zoo’s global conservation impact in addition to its economic impact to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. Last year, the zoo welcomed 1.14 million visitors and supported wildlife conservation projects on 6 different continents around the world!


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