The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park in Santa Ana is a 20-acre zoo focusing on the animals and plants of Central and South America. The Santa Ana Zoo attracts more than 270,000 people annually. The zoo was founded in 1952 by Joseph Prentice who established a unique requirement that the zoo be home to at least 50 monkeys at all times. The Santa Ana Zoo is owned and operated by the City of Santa Ana.
One of the most popular attractions at the Santa Ana Zoo is the Zoofari Express children's train, which has two 14-guage engines in 4-4-4 configuration locomotives. The train track is approximately 1,850-ft. long. The original gas powered engine in train #1030 was refurbished with an electric-powered engine in 2006. The Santa Ana Zoo also contains exhibits of endangered species, a rain forest and a children's zoo. Other attractions include:
Amazon’s Edge, the premier exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo, featuring a waterfall, a lake, and a lush island setting that is home to howler monkeys, mallards, black-necked swans and crested screamers
Tierra de las Pampas, a multi-species exhibit showcasing anteaters, guanacos and rheas
Conservation Carousel, where children can learn about the value of environmental conservation through the preservation of endangered animals while having fun on a classic carousel
Colors of the Amazon Aviary, a 9,000-square foot aviary in which zoo visitors can mingle with a variety of exotic birds that roam about as if they were still in their native South American habitat
The Santa Ana Zoo also offers educational programs for both children and adults. The zoo is open daily except for Christmas Day, New Years Day and the 4th Saturday in August. Hours of operation are 10 AM to 4 PM daily but guests may remain in the zoo until 5 PM. During the summer, weekend hours are extended from 10 AM to 6 PM.