What’s New at San Diego Zoo in May 2024

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San Diego Zoo, nestled in the heart of Balboa Park, remains a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts and families. Known for its vast array of exotic animals and commitment to conservation, the zoo offers a unique experience every visit. This guide provides a detailed overview of what to expect when visiting in May 2024, including attractions, exhibits, and tips to enhance your experience.

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What’s New in May 2024?

Exciting New Exhibits and Species

May 2024 heralds the introduction of several new exhibits at the San Diego Zoo. Notably, the Rainforest Habitat has been expanded to include rare species such as the clouded leopard and the harpy eagle. This exhibit offers visitors a chance to see these elusive creatures up close in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitats.

Interactive Educational Programs

The zoo has also launched new educational programs aimed at increasing visitor engagement and awareness about wildlife conservation. These include interactive sessions where guests can learn about the importance of biodiversity and the specific conservation efforts the zoo is involved in.

Must-See Attractions

Panda Canyon

While the giant pandas are no longer at the zoo, Panda Canyon has been revamped to spotlight the red pandas, a must-see for their adorable antics and striking appearance.

Polar Bear Plunge

Experience the thrill of seeing polar bears in a simulated Arctic environment. The Polar Bear Plunge is both entertaining and educational, providing insights into the lives of polar bears and the effects of climate change on their natural habitat.

African Rocks

This exhibit is particularly vibrant in May as many of the animals are more active. African Rocks showcases a range of species from the African continent, including the charismatic African penguin and the majestic leopard.

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Tips for a Great Visit

Best Times to Visit

To avoid the crowds and enjoy cooler weather, visiting early in the morning or late afternoon is advisable. This is also when many animals are most active.

Educational Tours and Experiences

Booking a behind-the-scenes tour can greatly enhance your zoo experience. These tours often include feeding times and the chance to meet zookeepers.

Event Participation

Check the zoo’s calendar for special events in May, such as conservation talks or animal enrichment activities, which can offer deeper insights and unique experiences.

Dining and Shopping

Variety of Dining Options

From casual cafes to more upscale dining options, the zoo caters to a range of tastes and dietary needs. The Albert’s Restaurant offers a more refined dining experience with views overlooking a waterfall.

Unique Shopping Experiences

The zoo’s gift shops provide a variety of souvenirs, from educational toys to artisan crafts. Purchasing from these shops supports the zoo’s conservation efforts.


Visiting the San Diego Zoo in May 2024 promises an enriching experience filled with new sights and educational opportunities. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned patron, the zoo offers a dynamic environment that appeals to all age groups, making it a perfect family outing or a fascinating trip for wildlife aficionados.

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