Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Can I bring my pet to the Zoo?

Please do not! Zoo animals can become alarmed at the sight of strange animals. More importantly, your pet can transmit diseases to the zoo animals, and vice versa. It is for the safety of all the animals that we do not allow pets in the zoo.

What about service animals?  Service dogs and their humans are welcome and encouraged at Sequoia Park Zoo. For everyone's safety, a zoo attendant will notify staff of their presence.

Where does the zoo get its animals?

The vast majority of our animals come from other zoos, many as part of a collaborative captive breeding effort among accredited zoos around the country. Most of our domestic animals are donated by private individuals or shelters, and some are wild animals that have sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild. The zoo provides them a safe home where they can be ambassadors for their wild counterparts to teach visitors about caring for nature. A select few of the zoo's animals were born and raised right here at Sequoia Park Zoo.

Will we have prairie dogs again?

The round prairie dog exhibit was outdated and had to be removed during renovations to the zoo in 2004. Plans had shown a new prairie keystone exhibit where the Sequoia Park Garden is currently located. However, sentiment is strong to keep the garden as is, so these exhibits were eliminated from the newest Master Plan due to space constraints.

I don't see any of the typical zoo animals like elephants and tigers - where are they?

Our zoo is unique - we are one of the smallest accredited zoos in the country, and with only 5 acres in total, we have very limited space for large exhibits. Although zoos in the past may have displayed animals in small cages, we prefer to accommodate animals in spacious and natural surroundings. Since large animals usually need large spaces (and large food budgets), we feel our best effort is to focus on a variety of smaller animals that have equally interesting stories to share.

How do the flamingos stay pink?

Wild flamingos eat small animals and plants that contain naturally occurring pigments that turn some of the their feathers pink. Our flamingos eat a specially formulated diet that contains the same pigment. Without it, the flamingos would look white!

Can I donate my animal to the zoo?

Probably not. The zoo can only accept animals that we have specific plans to exhibit, and we do not have the space or staff to adequately house extra animals. Sadly, we receive several calls each week from individuals needing to place an unwanted pet. If you have an animal in need of a new home, please try our local and statewide rescue organizations that specialize in re-homing unwanted pets. Plans for a pet should always include care for its entire lifespan. Remember that exotic animals almost never make good pets, and most are illegal to keep on California.

What if I find an injured or orphaned wild animal?  Sequoia Park Zoo does not have a state license to rehabilitate most wild animals and cannot legally accept them. If you find a wild animal that you think is in need of help, please call the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center at 707-822-8839.

When are the animals fed?

Feeding times vary throughout the day, but there are three dedicated animal feedings that occur daily: 1:00pm - Bush Dogs; 3:00pm - River Otters; and 4:00pm - Red Pandas. Please ask a staff member during your visit or check out our keeper talk times displayed behind the ticket booth for additional feedings. For the safety of visitors and animals, we do not allow the public to feed our animals.

Is food available at the zoo?

Absolutely - and it's some of the best food in town! The Zoo Cafe is located inside the Entry pavilion, and is open daily from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Our menu includes grilled burgers, hotdogs, chicken, salads and deli sandwiches, coffee and cold drinks, ice cream, popcorn, and more! We also feature daily specials, often made with ingredients harvested from our cafe garden. Stop by for lunch, or just grab a snack. You can even order food "to-go" by calling 707-442-8000 or ordering online. Your patronage at the cafe and gift shop supports current and future zoo improvements.

Can I bring outside food or drink into the zoo?  Yes, but no alcoholic beverages please.

Will the zoo get another chimpanzee?

With the passing of Bill, Sequoia Park Zoo saw the end of an era. Since chimpanzees require the companionship of many others, our zoo simply does not have the space or budget to accommodate this species. Bill was an unusual exception to this rule given his unique past. To learn more about Bill and his life and the zoo's history, visit "Bill's Garden" - a peaceful tribute to our beloved and dearly missed chimpanzee. You can also learn about efforts to save this critically endangered species in the wild.

How is the zoo funded?

The zoo is owned and operated by the City of Eureka. Funding for all operational costs (animal food, vet care, education programs, keeper salaries, utilities, etc.) is provided through the City's general fund. Admission and program revenues offset the budget by about 20%, but a goal of City Council is to reduce the general fund impact further.

Capital improvements such as the Barnyard, Entry Pavilion, and Watershed Heroes were funded entirely from private donations and grants. The Zoo Foundation is the not-for-profit fund-raising organization that supports the Zoo through gift shop and cafe sales, memberships, events and other fundraising activities. There are many ways you can help support the Zoo: become a member, adopt an animal, purchase a donor salmon, raindrop, or leave a bequest in your will. All these efforts help us build a better zoo. Call 707-442-5649 ext. 201 for more information or click here.

What is next for the Zoo?

We are very excited to share the latest Zoo Master Plan, which can be viewed here. Updated in 2017, it is a bold vision that will continue to transform Sequoia Park Zoo into an internationally recognized state-of-the-art facility and premier tourist destination. The next phase of the plan will include Native Predators and the Redwood Canopy Walk. If you would like to help make this vision a reality, please contact the Zoo Foundation at 707-442-5649 ext. 201.