Abandoned Zoo Ruins - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Abandoned Zoo Ruins

Roam the grounds of L.A.'s old zoo, former home of Ivan the Terrible.

Ever wondered what it feels like to stand on the inside of the zoo's cages, looking out?

Join us as we explore the abandoned animal haunts of the L.A. Zoo, closed since 1966. Serving at the city zoo from 1912 to 1966, this site under Bee Rock is now filled with fascinating ruins, empty animal enclosures, "natural" habitats, secret stairways and paths. At its peak, the L.A. Zoo contained thousands of animals and hosted tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Led by Field Agent Hadley Meares, we'll recount tales of individual animals, such as the murderous polar bear Ivan the Terrible, and Topsy, the camel with two broken humps. We will also discuss the zoo's troubling history and chart the different phases of the zoo's development. This fascinating history will be discussed as we hike around the site and visit the enclosures so many lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) once paced, many moons ago.


  • This is a hiking tour. Dress accordingly.
  • Water and sun protective wear are encouraged!


Contact Hadley Meares at hadley@atlasobscura.com.

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