Innovation 1957 - 1966

From the start, education was one of the San Diego Zoo’s most important goals. The Zoo itself was always considered a magnificent outdoor, living classroom, but in 1966, a long-wished-for hope became a reality: an education center with dedicated facilities and classrooms to house the Zoo’s rapidly growing education programs. Plans had been in the works for several years, but when benefactor Elmer C. Otto left the majority of his estate to the Zoo, stating that he hoped the funds could aid in education efforts for children, all the pieces fell into place. On December 2, 1966, the Elmer C. Otto Center was officially dedicated, ready for the now hundreds of thousands of children who have passed through its gates since then.

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