Anchorage, Alaska’s Alaska Zoo is located on 25 acres of Anchorage Hillside. This is one of Alaska’s most famous attractions that are being flocked by almost 200,000 visitors every year.
Right now, the zoo serves as the home to over 100 mammals and birds that represent some 50 types of species. This zoo also has the most extensive array of animals that are native to Alaskan state and some exotics like the yaks,

Bactrian camels and Amur tigers.
Aside from viewing, Alaska Zoo also specializes in research, education, animal rehabilitation and wildlife conservation. Most of the animals that are currently living in the zoo were either found injured or orphaned.

Short History of Alaska Zoo.
By 1966, Jack Synder, an Anchorage grocer, won a contest that offers a prize of a baby elephant or $3,000. Synder chose the elephant, named Annabelle, a female Asian elephant. Initially, Annabelle, was kept at Diamond H Horse Ranch found in Anchorage’s Hillside area under the ownership of Sammye Seawell that happened to have the only heated stalls available back then.
As Annabelle became more popular, Seawell formed the non-profit corporation for building a place that will give the public a chance to visit the animals and learn more about them. This became incorporated on the 28th of March 1968 as the Alaska Children’s Zoo that opened in the year 1969 with Annabelle and the rest of the donated animals. The zoo was also found on land that was adjacent to the ranch of Seawell. The name of the zoo was later changed to

Alaska Zoo by June 1980.
By year 1983, Maggie, a female African elephant arrived at Alaska Zoo as Annabelle’s companion. The zoo also attracted more attention even those from outside Alaska by 1994 when Binky, one of the polar bears of the zoo, injured some visitors that entered his enclosure, popularly pacing with the shoe of an Australian woman dangling from his mouth. Today’s exhibit of polar bear is human-proof.
By 1997, Annabelle died, leaving Maggie alone. By 2004, even with the mounting criticism, the officials of Alaska Zoo decided to keep Maggie in Alaska for a minimum of three more years, instead of sending her to the elephant sanctuary in warmer climate wherein she will also be able to socialize with the rest of the elephants. In the 6th of June 2007, Maggie was relocated to California’s PAWS sanctuary.

Most Notable Animals.
Some of the most notable and famous animals in Alaska Zoo include Annabelle, the Asian elephant; Binky, the polar bear; and Maggie, the African elephant. Other current species, including Peregrine falcon, crow, Jacob sheep, magpie, Boreal owl, Nigerian Dwarf goat, short-eared owl, northern hawk owl, porcupine, northern goshawk, domestic rabbit, northern flying squirrel, red-tailed hawk, raven, great grey owl, arctic fox, great horned owl, red fox, mallard, snowy owl, Sitka black-tailed deer, trumpeter swan and many others.

Alaska Zoo is proactive in their research and conservation efforts and education programs. The zoo is also part of Species Survival Program for snow leopards and tigers and Polar Bear International that helps with conservation of the polar bears.
This original article is © 2016

Hours will vary by season, refer to the website for current hours.

Adult (non-resident): $15 each
Adult Alaska Resident (with ID*): $13 each
Senior (age 65 and older): $10 each
Military adult (with ID**): $10 each
Youth ages 3 – 17 years: $7 each
Ages 2 years and under: FREE

Visit there website here for full details.