On June 12th at 10am, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo will reopen to the public. Our Hours will be 10-4. Facemasks are required and physical distancing is strongly encouraged for all visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What animals are at the Zoo?

A.  We are proud that every animal at the zoo has been rescued from some sort of human interaction.   You will find every type of animal that lives in the Big Bear Valley, and some additional ones that respond well to our environment such as Grizzly Bears and Wolves.  Please check out the animal bio pages to learn the history of the animals in our care.

Q.  Where is the Zoo located?

A.   The Zoo is located at 43285 Goldmine Drive in Big Bear Lake.  It is located directly across from Bear Mountain Ski Resort in the Moonridge area of Big Bear.

Q.  Is there a fee for parking?

A. Parking is free.  Please make sure you are parked in a marked parking space to avoid getting a ticket.  During the winter months, the cashier will give you a parking pass to put on the inside of your window to let the local police know you are a zoo visitor and not a Bear Mountain patron parked in the wrong area.

Q.  What if it is snowing or raining?

A.  The Zoo is open almost every day.  The animals are interesting to watch while it is snowing or raining.  The only exception is when there is a tremendous amount of snow accumulation and the facility may then close for a portion of the day (mostly in the morning) while tractors and snow blowers make the facility safe for our visitors.

Q.  Can I rent a stroller or wheelchair at the Zoo?

A.  No, the Zoo does not have strollers or wheelchairs for rent.

Q.  What is the topography of the Zoo?

A.  The Zoo is located on a steep, hilly area.  During the winter months, at certain times of the day and in shady areas, the grounds can be slippery or icy.   We recommend wearing sensible shoes, or boots in the winter time.

Q. What time is the animal presentation each day?

A.  At noon each day, a keeper will bring a special animal into the amphitheater.  They will explain all about the animal, where it came from, what it eats and where it lives.  Every day is a different program.  We are also excited to offer enrichment activities for the animals throughout the day.  Be sure to check the schedule located near the cashiers.

Q. Can I touch or hold any animals at the Zoo?

A. We do not allow the zoo visitors to interact with the animals in our care for both the safety of the animal and the guest.  It is important to remember that these animals are all WILD animals and can react unpredictably at times.  It is also important to know that should an animal bite a guest, the animal could be euthanized per health regulations.  For the safety of all the animals in our care and yours, please keep your fingers out of the enclosures.

Q. Is smoking allowed at the Zoo?

A.  Smoking is not allowed on Zoo grounds.

Q. Is outside food allowed in the Zoo?

A.  The Zoo welcomes guests who wish to bring their own picnics into the Zoo with them.  The zoo requests that you do not bring aluminum cans, glassware or any other breakable materials and refrain from using any plastic items such as straws and cup lids that might accidentally find their way into the animals’ enclosures.  There is a snack stand open for purchases from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Q.  What items are not allowed on Zoo grounds?

A.  For the safety of our animals, the following items are not allowed on Zoo grounds:  glass of any kind, aluminum cans, pets, laser pointers, scooters, skate boards, roller skates, and breakable items.  No plastic lids or straws are allowed that might accidentally find their way into the animals’ enclosures.  No alcohol is allowed in the facility.

Q.  Are pets allowed in the Zoo?

A.  Outside animals and pets are not allowed in the Zoo at anytime for the protection of the animals in our care, and for the protection of your pet. The Zoo does allow fully trained service animals to enter the Zoo.

Q. Does the Zoo offer guided tours?

A.  We do offer Docent Led Tours for large groups.  These tours need to be booked and paid for at least two weeks in advance and a waiver must be signed by each participant or their guardian.  Docent tours are on weekdays only.

Q.  Does the Zoo take orphaned or injured animals?

A.  Yes, we receive hundreds of orphaned and injured wild animals every year.  We will accept animals as long as we have the room to care for them.  If we suspect an animal has a serious infectious disease, we may refer you to someone else. We cannot risk the animals in our permanent care contracting an infectious disease that could put the entire collection at risk.  Please note, we firmly believe that each year, well meaning citizens unnecessarily bring us baby animals.  Please be absolutely sure that the animals are orphaned before taking them from their nest or home.  Observe from a distance for a while, both mom and the babies will be happy that you did.

Q. If I bring an animal to the Zoo, will staff keep me updated on its progress?

A. All animals that come in are assigned a number and our cashier can look up individual animals based on that number.  We can let you know how an animal is doing if you call, but we cannot let you see the animal once they are brought to the zoo. That animal is in a quarantine situation for their safety and the health and the safety of the patrons and our other animals as well.

Q.  How does the Zoo pay for all of the animals brought into the facility for rehabilitation?

A.   Our veterinary bill and food costs for rehabilitation are approximately $35,000 to $60,000 per year.  These bills are paid for by monies generated from the admission paid to get into the zoo and from donations received from our generous visitors.  There are donation boxes located throughout the zoo.

Q.  How do I become a Zoo Member?

A.  Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers several different memberships.  Membership benefits also include: free zoo admission for one year, member newsletter, free admission to selected events, docent training, 10% off merchandise in the gift shop, and free or reduced entry fees to reciprocal parks. Contact them at 909-878-4200 to learn more.

Q.  Can I adopt an animal at the Zoo?

A.  The Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers a special program for animal lovers.  When an animal is adopted, 100% of the funds go toward the care of the animal.  It is a special way to give to the animals that you love.  Contact Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo to adopt your favorite animal today (909-878-4200).