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The Zoological Society of San Diego (doing business as San Diego Zoo Global) is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Charity Navigator is the United States’ best charity watchdog organization, and has given San Diego Zoo Global its highest rating of 4 Stars/Exceptional. Only 10% of accredited zoos and aquariums achieve this standard.

GuideStar is the world's largest source of information on nonprofit organizations, and has given San Diego Zoo Global a platinum seal, its highest rating of transparency.

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A researcher with a koala in Australia; a baby panda born at the San Diego Zoo; a baby southern white rhino born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park



Small Steps, Big Changes

Conservation happens one person, and sometimes one animal, at a time. By working with communities that live alongside wildlife, investing in science and technology for conservation initiatives, and partnering with you, we can end extinction.

Conservation-Focused from the Beginning

The San Diego Zoo began as a rescue operation.

In 1916, Dr. Harry Wegeforth was driving down Park Boulevard when he heard the roar of a lonely lion. Along with bears, monkeys, and other animals, the lion had been part of an exhibit at the Panama-California Exposition earlier that year. But when the exposition closed, the animals were left behind with a few caretakers, and an uncertain future.

Dr. Harry was inspired to rescue those abandoned animals and give them a home where they could be properly cared for. Soon after hearing that fateful roar, he founded the San Diego Zoo.

Since then, we've carried on Dr. Harry's can-do outlook and commitment to protecting wildlife.

rhino mom and baby


Without visitors to offset our ongoing costs, your support is more crucial now than ever before.

Your tax-deductible gift will care for wildlife at the Zoo and Safari Park and provide a sustainable lifeline for endangered species worldwide.