The Alaska Zoo started in 1969 with one baby elephant named Annabelle that was won in a contest. Since then, it has expanded to include 100 animals across 25 acres of the Anchorage hillside. The zoo has the widest variety of animals native to the state of Alaska as well as a handful of exotics that are part of a great center for education and research that focuses on wildlife conservation and animal rehabilitation.
For 50 years, the zoo has been a nonprofit organization serving the wildlife and people of Alaska, as well as visitors to our state. We rely on admissions, donations, gift shop sales, coffee shop purchases and memberships to operate and care for the animals as we receive no city or state funding.
The wooded hillside setting allows visitors to get close-up views of the many animals of the north along the naturally wooded boreal forest with gravel pathways. The staff takes pride in maintaining a natural setting for both zoo animals and visitors.
- March & April: 10am - 5pm
- May: 9am-6pm
- June, July & August: 9am-9pm
- September: 9am-6pm
- October: 10am-5pm
- November - February: 10am-4pm
- Closed: Thanksgiving & Christmas
Admissions tickets available online and offer a pre-paid mobility cart service for those who have mobility needs.
Photos by John Gomes.
Prices & Dates
|Duration||1.5 - 2 hrs|
|Rates||Admission // $17 General Adult, $15 Alaska Resident Adult, $13 Senior / Military, $10 youth (3-17), 2 and under - free|
|Rate Notes||Last entry through the gate is 30 minutes before closing time|
Alaska Zoo Audio Guide
Stephanie Hartman is the Education Director for the Alaska Zoo, responsible for overseeing educational programs, planning events, and working with zoo partners such as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Polar Bears International. Having worked at the Alaska Zoo for twelve years, Stephanie is passionate about all the animals at the zoo, as well as utilizing those animals to properly educate people about the ...more
Black-billed Magpies are members of the corvid family, along with ravens and crows. Magpies are opportunistic omnivores, eating a varied diet of items like insects, carrion, rodents, eggs, berries, seeds and nuts, and they often forage for food by walking on the ground.
Polar bears are an icon of the north, a marine mammal adapted to life on sea ice habitat. They travel on the ice and use it as a platform to capture ringed seals, their primary prey species. They are a threatened species, as climate change accelerates the loss of their sea ice habitat each year. The Alaska Zoo is an Arctic Ambassador Center dedicated to conserving polar bears through education and action.
In the summer of 2010, we completed construction of our Animal Infirmary. This facility allows the zoo to provide an even higher quality of care, with new veterinary access in our custom exam room and holding areas for public view of our birds that have “migrated” indoors for the winter. This facility is an extension of our mission to care for orphaned and injured wildlife.
Wolves are carnivores that hunt caribou in the north, Sitka black-tailed deer in Southeast Alaska, and moose throughout the state. They are pack hunters, who use endurance and strategy to capture prey. Wolves are able to live and hunt in packs because of hierarchies, social structures which reinforce an individual’s place in the group through body language, positioning and vocalizing.
Amur tigers are the largest cat species in the world, native to the boreal forests of Russia and China. They are well-adapted to live in harsh environments, where cold and deep snow is common. Today, it is estimated that only 350 to 450 Amur tigers exist in the wild. We play an active role in their future by teaching thousands of visitors about their endangered status, hopefully inspiring the next generation to care and conserve them.
Do porcupines shoot their quills? Quills are hairs modified for protection, so they are held in the skin just like hair on our head. They cannot shoot their quills, but they are still a threat to predators. If contact is made with a porcupine and its prickly quills, the barbed tips will stick easily in the skin.
Our Coffee Shop offers a selection of meals, snacks, pastries and espresso drinks. The adjacent lawn area is bustling during summer months with educational lectures on Tuesday nights, live music on Friday nights, special event activities, and rental parties who reserve the lawn for picnics and weddings.
Black bears are the most abundant and widely distributed of the three bear species in North America. These bears are creatures of opportunity, with feeding habitats dependent on food availability. We work with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game each year to remind Anchorage citizens that garbage must be secured in proper bear-resistant containers to prevent bears from having access to it. These efforts will keep black bears wild and humans ...more
The bald eagle is named for the white head of the adult bird. The name was given by American colonists at a time when bald, or balled, meant white, and not hairless. Immature bald eagles do not have the white head and tail, as it takes about five years for the plumage to develop.
Dall sheep are an alpine species which inhabit steep mountain slopes and cliffs. They use this rugged terrain as protection from predators, often staying in tight social groups to keep an eye out for wolves or golden eagles, which would prey on their lambs. The rams, or males, have large curled horns which they will crash together when competing for status or females.
Living in the remote and harsh terrain of the Himalayan Mountains, the snow leopard is amongst the most specialized of all land predators. These endangered cats not only have a plush coat to keep them warm, they are also able to use their three-foot long tail for balance when moving through their mountainous habitat. We are proud to provide a home for this critically endangered species while educating visitors about their plight in the wild. ...more
Brown bears are much larger than their relative the black bear. Kodiak bears are the largest brown bear subspecies, with adult males weighing up to 1,500 pounds. Coastal brown bears can also reach the same large size, feeding on rich supplies of salmon and sedge grasses. In areas of high food concentration where brown bears feed in larger groups, they avoid conflicts through body language and social structures.