Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden : Michelin's recommendations
The Los Angeles Zoo is set on 113 lush acres in Griffith Park. Its acclaimed collection of animals includes more than 1,200 birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles from around the world living in naturalistic enclosures. Recently accredited as a botanical garden, the zoo will continue to improve and diversify the surrounding landscape in the years to come. Of the 400 species housed here, about 70 -including the bongo, the yellow-footed rock wallaby, the giant eland, and the gerenuk-represent rare and endangered species. One of the newest exhibits, featuring golden monkeys, opened in 2004. Adventure Island shows off animals from the American Southwest, including farm animals in the Hacienda; there's also an animal nursery, a children's theater and an assortment of games for youngsters. Part of the zoo's Great Ape Forest, Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains is named for a group of wild chimps in Tanzania, Africa. You can watch the chimpanzees frolic in their open-air penthouse through large glass windows. Check at the entrance for a schedule of bird shows and animal-feeding sessions.