Trinity students have made many great memories at the San Antonio Zoo, so just imagine how many memories have been made there outside of the collective Trinity brain in the zoo’s 100 years of existence.

This year the San Antonio Zoo commemorates its 100-year anniversary. Founded in 1914 by Colonel George W. Brackenridge, its beginnings were humble with just a few elk, buffalo, deer, several monkeys, two lions and four bears. Now, that small plot of land has extended to 56 acres and is home to over 8,500 animals. With the forming of the San Antonio Zoological Society in 1928, the introduction of the revolutionary cageless exhibits and rare animals quickly made the San Antonio Zoo one of the leading zoos in the United States; a position proudly maintained to this day.

San Antonio Zoo employee Cynthia Hernandez explained the zoo’s connection to endangered species.

“We have a long history of working with endangered species. From our work with whooping cranes that began in the 1950s to the 1990s, when we partnered with Texas Parks & Wildlife to assist with the endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, we have an established history of Texas conservation,” Hernandez said.

Overall, the zoo participates in over 230 endangered species programs and plays a major role in breeding endangered animals from all over the world.

Thus, to celebrate this first 100 years, the “Zootenial program” will be centerpieced by the new Zootenial Plaza, which will include a $8 million gathering place funded by zoo members. This plaza will include an upscale restaurant, a centralized family gathering area and a custom-designed carousel.

Senior Connor Kloepfer enjoys this idea.

“I’m excited to return to the zoo because it’s a great place to go on dates with my girlfriends. It’s like a test to see if they’re cool enough to hang with some pretty important animals,” Kloepfer said.

Whether you’re hanging with animals or just enjoying the sights like first year Dana Dinkens does, the zoo has certainly been a place for adventure over the past 100 years

“My favorite animals are hippos,” Dinkens said.

The zoo is open everyday 365 days of the year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is $12 for adults but  memberships can also be bought for $30 to enjoy all of the wonderful sights that this new and improved 100 year old zoo has to offer during one of the greatest time’s in its history.