some tips for visiting the zoo:
1. don't have high expectations, this is far from the caliber of san diego zoo. however it is big and good enough for the price.
2. buy tickets online as the lines could get long on the weekends and holidays. prices are: $16 adults, $13 senior, $11 children
3. go in the morning when it opens at 10am. the animals are awake and active, you beat the crowd, and it's much cooler. it gets hot and quite crowded in the afternoons specially on weekends and holidays.
4. byof (food) and drinks. food there is expensive and mediocre. example, they call "2 Churros + 2 Drinks = $15" a deal. the churro and popcorn are pretty good though.
5. parking is free! that's very rare in los angeles. in case the zoo parking is full, you can also park on the lot across the street (free too).
6. get the family membership if you live in l.a. and have at least two children to bring (your own kids, nieces, cousins, etc.)
7. on warm days, wear shorts, sleeveless shirts and hats. also wear sunscreen, it gets hot out there.
8. grab a map at the entrance. the lay out of the place is a bit confusing and quite a hike so you don't want to get lost.
9. the tram is a rip off. wear comfortable shoes and walk! and bring a stroller for your kids.
10. there's a playground at the top where kids can play (while you rest).
11. if you must buy drinks, buy the refillable cups and save it. you can bring it again to use on the next visit. just bring the cup to the register and pay for the refill. cheap and green!
12. plan to see the elephant training demonstration, daily at 11am.
13. allow some time to just sit and watch the chimp exhibit.
14. speak with the workers, they are helpful and offer good information about the animals.
15. good to know. some of the animal exhibits there are rescued from traffickers and collectors from illegal animal trade. these rescued animals cannot be returned back into the wild due to possible exposure to new virus contracted in the city so the zoo keeps them. example, reggie the alligator.
some photos from our visit.