The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park in Orange County, California is a nature habitat that offers a wide range of activities for the entire family. This 20-acre zoo features a tropical rain forest filled with exotic animals and imported plant life.

The zoo has a number of attractions including a walk-through aviary, train rides, conservation carousel and an educational amphitheater. The zoo also hosts special events such as “Boo at the Zoo” around Halloween and Earth Day events. A great post ahead.

Monkey Row

The zoo’s main attraction is Monkey Row, featuring an array of ape species. A group of white-faced saki monkeys in a roomy timber-and-netting habitat are the best bet for monkey lovers looking to get close, but there are also a handful of other small cages where you’ll find spider monkeys and a black-and-white colobus.

Much has changed since the first shipment of monkeys arrived from the wild in 1952, and federal laws and international agreements now protect endangered species from being further imperiled by an unregulated wildlife trade. However, Santa Ana’s monkey population has dipped since that time due to some deaths and a slowdown in animal transfers between zoos during the 2009 avian flu pandemic.

Tierra de las Pampas

Located a short walk from the I-5 Freeway in Prentice Park, Santa Ana Zoo was built from land deeded by a wealthy rancher who loved monkeys. In 1949, he donated 12 acres of his citrus farm with one condition: the city must keep 50 monkeys on it at all times!

The first of four major biomes that will be added to the zoo, Tierra de las Pampas represents South American grasslands and wetlands. This two-acre exhibit features giant anteaters in one area and Greater Rheas, Patagonian cavy and Guanacos in the other.

Giant Anteaters are the largest monkeys in the world, weighing up to 160 pounds and growing to a height of 6 to 8 feet. They are found in only four South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru. They have large sticky tongues that can extend 24 inches outside of their mouths at a rate of 150 times a minute, and are considered one of the world’s most endangered animals. Here is another spot to visit.

Amazon Walk-Through Aviary

A new $600,000 aviary, “Colors of the Amazon,” opens next Thursday and will let visitors within feet of 24 birds native to South America. The aviary, one of several exhibits focusing on animals from that region, will boost attendance and help convert the zoo into a showcase for South American wildlife.

The aviary, an interactive attraction that opened on August 1, 1996, features scarlet ibis, emerald toucanet, roseate spoonbill and other exotic birds that roam free from cages or typical enclosures. They share ponds with sleek black turtles that dry-dock on flat stones and soft earth shores.

Crean Family Farm

If you want to have a fun family day out, the Santa Ana Zoo is an ideal place. It is a 20-acre zoo that highlights animals and plants from Central and South America.

The zoo has a rain forest exhibit, several rare and endangered species, a walk-through aviary, train ride, carousel, children’s zoo and an educational amphitheater. The zoo also has a new plan to modernize and earn back accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The zoo is a great place to host birthday parties for kids, with many attractions for them to enjoy. A walk through aviary, Crean Family Farm and the Rainforest Adventure Maze are all popular with kids, as is the Conservation Carousel and Zoofari Express Miniature Train.


The Santa Ana Zoo is a great place to spend time learning about animals and the environment. With a children’s farm, train ride, endangered species carousel and Ferris wheel, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The Zoo is also home to an urban forest with more than 100 different types of trees. Signage throughout the zoo highlights some of these interesting trees.

The Flight aviary is a great way to immerse yourself in the movement, beauty and color of hundreds of tropical butterflies. You can also study the butterfly life cycle in the emergence chamber and learn about these winged wonders through educational signage. Browse next article.



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