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About

Observations at the San Antonio Zoo began in 2008 with the start of the “Free Lucky” campaign. Since then, they’ve branched out to other species at the zoo, as well as other exotic and endangered species across the nation.

Zoo History

FOUNDED: 1914

OWNED: PRIVATE 501(C)3, SAN ANTONIO ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY

ORIGIN: SOCIETY WAS A DECREE BY KING OF SPAIN IN 1731

SIZE: 53 ACRES

ONLY 35 ACRES FOR BOTH PATHWAYS AND EXHIBITS COMBINED

# OF SPECIES: +750

Animals Under Our Watch

White Rhinoceros, Sumatran Tigers, Jaguars, Lions, Cheetahs, Clouded Leopard, African Wild Dogs

What Observations Consist Of

  • Temperature
  • Time
  • Date
  • Habitat conditions
  • Overall physical appearance
  • Psychological response to environment
  • Documentation of supplied diet
  • Documentation of AWA/AZA violations
  • Wound/illness monitoring
  • Water condition
  • Photographic documentation
  • Video documentation
  • Written, concise reports

We have a team of observers who have been trained to perform these tasks sufficiently and with scientific objectivity. The observations usually last several hours. If you’d like to join the observation team or learn how to perform your own observations, for any of our campaigns, please contact us.

White Rhinoceros

Kutu was captive born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 1996. He was transferred to the San Antonio Zoo in 2002. He was added to our observation list, along with Gertrude, in 2011 after the deaths of Herbie and Sababu.

Kutu is currently the only rhinoceros in residence at the San Antonio Zoo; however, we suspect that a new white rhinoceros will be brought in as a mate, soon, due to remodeling of the empty rhinoceros exhibits. The zoo has knocked down the walls between two of the old exhibits, opening up a much larger space for a new exhibit. These are great steps towards a more progressive future, and we hope to see more of this type of remodeling as the zoo goes forward.

Antiquated Night Quarters

Rust

Kutu has always appeared to be a very robust, healthy male, rhino. He is on the list only due to our observations with the other rhinos.

Sumatran Tigers

Kemala was born on December 6, 2006, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with siblings, Rojo and Sari. Her name means, “Magic stone.” They were the first Sumatrans born in the park in 17 years. In 2008, Kemala arrived at the Topeka Zoo with her two litter mates. By 2010, she was shipped off to Akron Zoo to pair with a male there.

In early 2012, after the departure of the San Antonio Zoo’s lone remaining tiger, Berani, and the preceding death of Malaya, Kemala arrived from the Akron Zoo with intended mate, Raguno, who passed away November 2014. On August 3, 2013, Kemala had her first litter, two female cubs named The Royal Ja’Malle and Diana, and Raguno was placed off exhibit.

Due to the influx of big cats and the many deaths surrounding them at the San Antonio Zoo, we will continue to monitor the progress of these three tigers.

History of Tiger Deaths

Inadequate Pool

Rust

The exhibit has seen improvements and is one of the more natural environments due to the addition of grass.

Jaguars

In late 2014, the zoo acquired two new 1-year-old jaguars, male, B’alam, from the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin and female, Arizona, from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle with the intent to breed the pair. They have replaced lone female, Maya, who was transferred to the Albuquerque Biological Park.

Maya was under observation at the San Antonio Zoo from 2008-2014 due to the extreme stereotypical behavior exhibited by her former companion, male jaguar, Guapo.

After Guapo’s transfer to the San Diego Zoo, Maya was moved to a larger exhibit that left much of her exposed to the public with little room to hide away, and our observations continued due to a high number of large cat fatalies at the San Antonio Zoo.

Containment Issues

Rust

Lions

The current lions, Sarabi and Tau, arrived in 2013 from Wildlife Safari in Oregon. Sarabi is missing most of her tail from a childhood injury. Since their arrival, grass has been added to the exhibit, putting their observations low on our list. They gave birth to three cubs, TP, Axelle, and Josh on July 25, 2015.

Patty and Savannah the previous lions were under cursory observation since 2008, but we began closely monitoring them after a high number of large cat fatalities at the San Antonio Zoo. It is unknown where they were transferred after the arrival of Tau and Sarabi.

ALERT: If you have any information regarding the relocations of former lions, Patty and Savannah, please contact us.

Cheetahs

Sam and Mandy have been under cursory observation since 2008. After a high number of large cat fatalities at the San Antonio Zoo, we have begun monitoring them more closely.

Proximity to Public

History of Tiger Deaths

The exhibit has a very natural environment and is, by far, one of the better exhibits at the zoo. However, containment continues to be an issue, with a record of cheetah escapes causing the relocation of Olivia.

Clouded Leopard

Indira has been under cursory observation since her arrival in 2013, due to our involvement with the zoo’s former clouded leopard, Ghost, after a high number of large cat fatalities at the San Antonio Zoo.

ALERT: If you know the location or status of the zoo’s former clouded leopard, Ghost, please contact us.

African Wild Dogs

Dede and Dayle have been under cursory observation since the open of Africa Live in March 2010. They were bumped up on our list after one went missing for several months and returned looking in poor condition.

The exhibit is a newer one and offers quite a deal of space and grass. However, there appears to be little enrichment, and the animals can often be found stereotyping.

USDA Complaints

March 2010
June 2009
August 2008
May 2008

* Filed under the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, US Operations, prior to One World’s inception.

Other

ZCTF Report 2009 *

* Created under the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, US Operations, prior to One World’s inception.