Celebrating 50 years at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

ESCONDIDO (KUSI)- The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (originally known as the Wild Animal Park) opened to the public on March 10, 1972. Almost 3,000 visitors attended the grand opening. The Wgasa Bush Line monorail system (later replaced by the Africa Tram Safari) took passengers into the Safari Park’s savanna habitats, offering a safe, up-close way to view an array of wildlife—including some of the Safari Park’s first residents: six African bush elephants; sable antelope, greater kudu, and gemsbok; and a group of 18 southern white rhinos, 8 that were born at the San Diego Zoo.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park celebrates the 50th anniversary on May 10th, 2022. KUSI’s Kacey McKinnon went on a behind the scenes tour of the Safari Park and shows us more on what visitors can expect on their visit. We spoke with Dr. Kristi Burtis about the 5oth anniversary celebrations and the history behind the Safari Park.

McKinnon’s first stop… East Africa with the giraffe’s and rhinos. On a Wildlife Safari, you can venture into the field habitats for an up-close view of these magnificent animals while learning about how caring for wildlife here helps conserve species around the world.

Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center at San Diego Safari Park. The Safari Park has played a huge role in the conservation of species ranging from condors and hornbills to rhinos and elephants.

Walkabout Australia with the Kangaroos and Wallaby’s at the park. Guests can get inches away from the animals and experience wildlife like never before. Tickets are available to purchase the behind-the-scenes Walkabout Australia tour.



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