Applegate Park Zoo

A Sanctuary for Rescue Animals

The Merced Zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization


Click here for info on upcoming family fun!

Featured Event:


October 25th and October 26th

6:00pm to 8:30pm

Two night walk thru experience that features candy, music, decorations, vendor booths, arts and crafts and so much more!


Zoo Hours: Every day 10am to 5pm

(209) 725-3337

Helping the zoo through amazon wishlist

The zoo is very appreciative of all the support we get from everyone. If you would like to see the list of items we are desperately in need of, click the image above.

It is your difference that helps the zoo maintain a happy and positive environment which these animals never had.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Most donations are tax-deductible

Donate to the Zoo

Become A Member

Type of Zoo Membership

Yearly Animal Sponsorship

Name on Certificate


Applegate Park Zoo is operated by the City of Merced. This website is maintained by the Merced Zoological Society.



1045 W. 25th Street, Merced, CA 95340


Under 5              Free
Ages 5-15           $2.00
Ages 16-61         $3.00
Ages 62+            $1.50

Gift Shop Number: 
(209) 725-3337
Zookeeper Office Number:
(209) 385-6840


Hours of operation:

(The zoo is open seven days per week, except in very inclement weather)

Spring-Fall (March 10th to November 2, 2019 Hours:

10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Winter Hours (November 3rd to March 7, 2020 Hours:

10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.


Gift shop

The Merced Zoological Society operates a gift shop that specializes in inexpensive, animal-themed items for the whole family, educational toys, books, and gifts.  All proceeds help support the zoo’s operations.

kiddie corral

The Petting Zoo dedicated for our younger crowd. For an additional $1.00, guests can have a hands-on, close encounter with our smaller, kid-friendly animals, most weekends. Kiddie Corral is volunteer run, and is only open when volunteers are available. If you would like to volunteer, please stop by the zoo office and contact a zookeeper.



The Rossotti Ed-Zoo-Cation Center is available for rent for birthday parties! for more information please contact the gift shop at (209) 725-3337.




Zoo History

Applegate Park is the oldest park in Merced, purchased in part with a bequest by Lewis H. Applegate for the citizens and visitors of Merced in the 1920's.

Birds and other animals were donated to the City over the years and cages were built in the park to house them. By 1960, the Recreation and Parks Commission and the City of Merced saw the need to construct better facilities for the welfare of the animals.

Applegate Park Zoo was constructed at its current location in 1961-62, providing new and improved accommodations for the ever-expanding collection of birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Applegate Park Zoo has been home to many wild animals which, due to injuries or other conditions, could not be released to the wild or were surplus animals from other zoos. A regional theme has been adopted by the zoo, focusing on native species of animals and plants of the Central San Joaquin Valley and the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains.

California Natives

We specialize in California native animals and currently house two black bears, two bobcats, several mule deer, a coyote, raccoons, red and gray foxes, a California desert tortoise, water fowl, a variety of birds of prey. The majority of zoo residents were either confiscated (as illegal pets) or rescues.

Explore Global Diversity

Merced has two sister cities: Albury, Australia, and Somoto, Nicaragua. Our zoo houses some non-native animals that are native to our sister cities, like white faced Capuchin monkeys, a pair of emus, tortoises, black swans, finches, and diamond doves.

The Master plan

The master plan for our zoo's future provides for increasing the number of exhibits as well as the development of each exhibit to replicate the natural habitats of the native birds, mammals, and reptiles that live here at the zoo. The Merced Garden Club, local 4H Clubs and others assist the zoo by planting and maintaining very attractive landscaping in several locations around the zoo. The Rossotti Ed-Zoo-Cation Center was opened in August 2009 to provide a venue for a variety of educational programs.