Santa Ana Zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park in Santa Ana, California, is a 20-acre (8.1 ha) zoo specializing in Central and South American animals and plants. Every year, almost 270,000 individuals visit the Santa Ana Zoo. The Santa Ana Zoo was founded in 1952 and is owned and administered by the City of Santa Ana. Joseph Prentice gave the zoo property with the condition that the city keep at least 50 monkeys at all times. The zoo has a large primate collection that includes over a dozen different species from around the world.

The Santa Ana Zoo focuses on recreation, education, and conservation. Previously, it was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


The land on which the zoo now stands was owned by a number of people in the early 1900s. Joseph Edward Prentice purchased the 19.23-acre (7.78 hectare) land when it was foreclosed between 1929 and 1931. In 1949, he gave the city of Santa Ana 16 acres (6.5 ha) and demanded that the zoo have at least fifty monkeys at all times. The zoo’s construction began that year, and it opened on March 8, 1952.

Soon after, a children’s zoo was created, and the Flight Aviary, now known as the Jack Lynch Aviary, was finished in 1962.

The amphitheater was completed in 1983, and the zoo was granted AZA certification. The Flight Aviary was refurbished and renamed the Jack Lynch Aviary in 1990; Amazon’s Edge launched in 1992; and Colors of the Amazon Aviary debuted in 1996. The Zoofari Express Train Ride debuted in 2000, Crean Family Farm debuted in 2004, and Tierra de las Pampas debuted in 2010.


Tierra De Las Pampas

Tierra de las Pampas, or “Land of the Grasses,” debuted at Santa Ana Zoo in April 2010. It is the first of several new displays. Tierra de las Pampas is a 2 acre (8,100 m2) exhibit that houses gigantic anteaters in one exhibit and greater rheas and guanacos in the other one, with a trail connecting them.

Rainforest Exhibit

The Rainforest Exhibit is a modest display that depicts the Amazon, which is home to white-faced saki monkeys and green iguanas.

Amazon’s Edge

This exhibit, which debuted on September 1, 1993, is a recreation of a part of the Brazilian jungle. The exhibit features a water moat and a forested riverbank situated against a cliff face, as well as a wooden terrace from which visitors can view the animals. Howler monkeys, black-necked swans, and crested screamers are among the species on display.

Colors of the Amazon Aviary

On August 1, 1996, the 9,000-square-foot (840-square-meter) Colors of the Amazon Aviary opened. A variety of South American birds can be seen in this walk-through aviary, which is set in a lushly manicured setting with flowing streams.

Crean Family Farm

Crean Family Agricultural, which launched in July 2004, specializes in uncommon domestic and farm animals. The complex’s centerpiece is a two-story red barn that holds pigs and an education room.

Ocelot Habitat and Education Center

A breeding pair of Brazilian ocelots can be seen in two linked habitats at Ocelot Habitat. Guests can learn about ocelot adaptations at interactive picnic tables.

Orange County Electrician

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