Sequoia Park Zoo, 3414 W Street, Eureka, CA 95503,
Eureka, California--As California's oldest zoo set among the world's tallest
trees, Sequoia Park Zoo was founded in 1907 (and the trees established
foundations thousands of years
earlier) in the City of Eureka. The creation of the zoo was simple...a fence was erected to contain animals inside the newly created city park.
An orphaned black bear from an Alaska hunting expedition, a wallaroo purchased on the docks in Sydney, Australia and shipped back to Eureka by a sea captain,
baboons, African lions, camels, chimpanzees, tigers, polar bears, bison, exotic birds, and small mammals,
all found the city's friendly animal hotel one of the best places to stick
around. The lodgings were free, the setting serene, and the food supplied on a
regular basis with well-rounded meals delivered right to the door.
Good times, bad times--The 70's were the bad times when funding went
dry. Good times followed in the 1980's and onward to today. In 1995
Sequoia Park Zoo was accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Two male chimpanzees abandoned by the entertainment industry: Bill and Ziggy.
They didn't get along, however, and were kept in separate areas. Touching the lives of generations of Eurekans,
the affable Bill passed away in 2007 and the community mourned the loss of a
One of the most interesting portions of the zoo that draws families to
interact with the animals was created in 2003 as the Barnyard, with an Entry Pavilion.
Barnyard animals are contained in pens where families and children can grab a
brush to comb their fur. Or follow the life a beehive contained in a see-through
plexiglass wall. An interpretive center offers lessons in native redwood ecosystems.
It is called Secrets of the Forest.
While residents tend to take for granted the towering forests that surround
this beautiful zoo, tourists comment that it's difficult to decide what's most
memorable about the Sequoia Park Zoo--the animals or the trees. Next to the zoo
is a public park with deep, shaded drives in groves of these tall, tall redwood
trees. It is almost like being on another planet for those visiting from
Southern California, a desert that is mostly flat, and not quite so shady.
The zoo is open every day in the summer and closed on Mondays in the winter
(subject to change)