The Sacramento Zoo’s ZooMobile brings a menagerie of birds, snakes, and amphibians to schools, along with trained instructors who teach the importance of protecting these animals’ habitats. The live animal visits enhance lessons about animals’ characteristics and adaptation to natural environments, with presentations specifically tailored to each grade level and to meet the California Department of Education's life-sciences standards. With additional funding, the Sacramento Zoo could send the ZooMobile program to Title 1 schools that qualify for the federal-school-lunch program.
Founded to provide financial support for the Micke Grove Zoo, Society provides educational opportunities and community involvement in the zoo's growth for its members. Members and their families get free access to the zoo itself, where they can visit tamarins, Madagascar tortoises, and a golden eagle. It also hosts hands-on animal encounters for families and school groups where students get a chance to learn about the behaviors and habitats of some of the zoo's denizens. Members also gain discounts in the gift shop and at other zoos and aquariums across the country.
A haven for wildlife that can't be released back to the wild, Animal Ark educates and inspires visitors on how to become better environmental stewards. Primarily a home to North American predators, the 38-acre sanctuary also hosts a few exotic species, including Shere Khan the tiger and Moyo and Jamar the cheetahs. Strongly rooted in the belief that wild animals deserve to live in their natural habitat, the staff fills enclosures with vegetation from their countries of origin.
This is not a 'mainstream' zoo," notes Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary on their website. "People who 'don't like zoos' are generally comfortable here." Perhaps that's because the center is more animal sanctuary than public zoo. Since 1963, it has taken in wild animals that have been injured in the wild, orphaned at an early age, or rejected as exotic pets by their owners. The sanctuary's staff provides lifelong homes for these animals, not only keeping them fed and cared for, but also engaging their mental and physical abilities through creative enrichment activities. Of course, education is a major focus, as well, which is why they invite visitors in to meet their boarders. The black bear exhibit showcases a few of these rescued creatures. Its glass viewing panels look into the habits of bears such as Sequoia, who was dropped off anonymously at a wildlife facility, and Marty, who was shot in the hip. Elsewhere, rescued red-tailed hawks perch inside an aviary, and a canine area showcases wolves, dogs, and everything in between.
North American species such as these occupy most of the habitats, but zookeepers also rescue the occasional exotic animal. They saved Orinoco, a squirrel monkey that came from a research facility, and Misty and Pouncer, a pair of mixed species tigers rescued from an illegal breeding facility. By telling these stories, the zookeepers hope to discourage the public from keeping wild animals as pets. Instead, they invite visitors to take active roles through volunteer initiatives and a junior zookeeper program.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Free and paid experiences
Pro Tip: Admission is immediate credit toward most purchases
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We are the largest reptile attraction in Northern California.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We offer birthday parties, guided tours and field trips as well.
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Many people leave saying that their visit was better than going to the zoo.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Working with the animals and being able to improve the lives of our customers' animals through proper education.
Every 30 minutes in a grassy stretch of Calistoga, an underground river grows restless. The water, heated by magma far below the earth's surface, boils and rises through fissures in the ground. When it reaches the open air, it shoots upward in a towering spigot—up to 100 feet high. This display is known as the Old Faithful Geyser of California, a natural wonder that shares the title of "old faithful" with only two other geysers in the world due to their dependable schedule.
A picnic ground at the geyser site allows guests to eat lunch against panoramic views of the Pacific Palisades and Mount Saint Helena. While they wait for the next eruption, visitors can greet the on-site petting zoo's animals—guard llamas, Jacob's four-horned sheep, and Tennessee Fainting Goats, named for their tendency to fall over and fan themselves when startled.