San Diego Zoo


The hippopotamus also called the hippo, common hippopotamus or river hippopotamus, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and ungulate native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus. The name comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse.”


The platypus is as fascinating on the inside as it is on the outside! Among Australia’s most iconic wildlife, this semi-aquatic, egg-laying species is also one of the few venomous mammals. At a glance, it looks like a hodgepodge of animal pieces stitched together: a paddle-shaped tail from an otter, a sleek body covered in dense, chestnut-colored fur like a mole, a wide, flat duck-like bill attached in front of its little round eyes, and big webbed feet like a pelican.


This baboon is no buffoon! Once revered by Ancient Egyptians as representatives of the Egyptian god of learning, hamadryas baboons are also referred to as Sacred Baboons. These hardy Old World monkeys display complex social behaviors, and can live in troops of several hundred individuals. Though currently extinct in Egypt, these monkeys can be found in large populations in Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In fact, no other kind of baboon resides as far north as hamadryas baboons. The remarkable silver manes and pink faces of adult males add to the unique nature of these intelligent primates.


Black and white and cute all over. While the African penguin may not be found in freezing temperatures, they are covered in an array of black, white, and gray dense, waterproof feathers that keep them dry and warm in the cold waters off the African coast. They also have a number of dot-like markings flecked across their white chests. These flecks help to individualize each penguin, as each penguin’s feather pattern is as individual as a human’s fingerprints. African penguins have a distinct, sharply pointed beak and black feet. The African penguin is one of the smallest penguin species. Males are generally slightly larger than their female counterparts.

Polar bear

Baby, it’s cold outside! Perhaps no other wildlife symbolizes the frozen tundra regions of the Earth as do polar bears. They live on ice and snow, but that’s not a problem—these bears have some cool ways to stay warm!

Ape Cam

Red apes of the forest! Orangutans, whose name means “people of the forest,” live in tropical and swamp forests on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These shaggy red apes are the largest arboreal mammal and the only great ape found in Asia. The other great apes—gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos—are all native to Africa.


Black and white and orange all over! The beautiful, striped coat and that powerful, mesmerizing gaze places the tiger among the world’s most revered wildlife. It’s a reverence that’s mixed with a bit of fear, an appropriate reaction to a large, well-muscled, swift hunter with 1- to 2-inch-long canine teeth and 3- to 4-inch-long claws. The tiger is a stalk-and-ambush hunter, and the distinctive stripes are good camouflage in the long grass or wooded forests of their diverse habitats. Dark stripes on a pale background break up the tiger’s outline as it lies in wait for prey to come near.


Have you “herd”? They’re enormous and intelligent, strong and sociable. Humans have been impressed by elephants for centuries, simply because they are so big—a male African elephant can weigh up to 7.5 tons (6.8 metric tons)! They also amaze us with their long and flexible noses, large and flapping ears, and loose, wrinkly skin. There are many stories about elephants—you’ve probably heard of Horton, Babar, and Dumbo.


Burrowing Owl

San Diego Zoo Global is home to a pair of burrowing owls in an off-exhibit breeding area. Viewers can observe these fascinating birds on this live cam—which provides views above ground, as well inside the birds’ underground burrow, where eggs are incubated and chicks are raised. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this charismatic species!


Have you ever heard someone refer to a koala as a “koala bear?” Well, like bears, koalas are mammals, and they have round, fuzzy ears and look cute and cuddly, like a teddy bear. But koalas are not bears. They are members of a group of pouched mammals called marsupials. Marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, wombats, possums, and opossums. Koalas look soft, but their fur feels like the coarse wool of a sheep. They also seem cuddly, but koalas are not tame, and they don’t make good pets.

Condor Cam

This is a livestream from a nesting area at the California Condor Breeding Facility at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We hope you enjoy watching parents Siwon (male, with #85 wing tag) and Sola (female, no wing tag) as they incubate their latest egg, which is expected to hatch on March 23 or March 24.

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