The Sierra Safari Zoo was started by 3 men, Dale McDaniel, Jimmie Martin, and Dave Dawson. They had a collection of exotic animals as a hobby which started with ostriches. They acquired the property in January 1989 and the zoo opened in August 1990.
The first real exotic animal was an African Lion, named Claude. Which was followed three months later by a male liger, Hobbs, one of the zoo's most prized ambassadors.
The zoo is completely staffed by volunteers and today there are approximately 50 who perform the day to day care and feeding of the 150 or so residents at Sierra Safari Zoo. The zoo's volunteers are people who have a great passion for animals and the zoo provides an opportunity to work with many amazing creatures.
Our Mission Statement
To foster compassion for and knowledge about animals and our environment by bringing people and animals together. We do this with a commitment for the responsible care of our animal ambassadors and to encourage the thoughtful stewardship of all animals on Earth.