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Videos, photos help mark 90th birthday for Sacramento Zoo

Sacramento Zoo at 90: A celebration of the animals in pictures

As a tribute to the animals as the Sacramento Zoo celebrates its 90th birthday, here's a collection of pictures taken over the years by Sacramento Bee photographers.
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As a tribute to the animals as the Sacramento Zoo celebrates its 90th birthday, here's a collection of pictures taken over the years by Sacramento Bee photographers.

Sacramento Zoo has been a fixture at the southwest corner of Land Park for 90 years, that milestone being noted with a birthday celebration on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The zoo is having a party, a 90th Birthday Bash, featuring stage shows, chats with animal keepers, free snow cones, face painting, party hats, as well as bounce houses and other games and activities. All are included with general admission.

Founded in 1927, the zoo is home to more than 500 animals and 120 unique species. Though the days of elephants and hippos have passed, plenty of exotic animals, some of them quite large – hello, giraffes – populate the place. It also is a refuge for several critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. Primates, big cats, ungulates such as giraffe and zebras, a shy fennec fox, giant anteater and red panda make their homes there. The well-known flamingo flock has served as a longtime greeting committee for visitors, high-profile ambassadors for the zoo’s significant bird population. Reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects all have plenty of representation.

To acknowledge the 90-year milestone, Sacramento Bee video journalists have collaborated with zoo personnel to present photos and video images of a place that has served as a must-visit place for kids and their families for decades.

Herkimer, a desert tortoise who has emerged over the decades as one of the Sacramento Zoo's most popular residents, chomped on a delightful food treat presented by zoo staff in honor of his 90th birthday on Thursday, June 15, 2017. His birthday co

The zoo has not been without setbacks. An attempt to breed two Sumatran tigers went tragically wrong. And the natural deaths of animals zoo patrons have come to love have created several headlines and sadness.

But it has adapted to changes in how zoos are viewed and managed and remains a popular venue.

The Birthday Bash runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $14.95 for general, $13.95 for seniors and $9.95 for children age 2 to 11.

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Dr. Ray Wack, senior veterinarian at the Sacramento Zoo, talks about health care for the animals and how the zoo’s conservation goals aim to sustain education about animal welfare for generations to come.

Brian Blomster: 916-326-5512, @b_blomster

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