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Chaffee Zoo, Fresno, CA

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Canon 5D mark iii

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Camera settings:

Canon 5D, Mark iii

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Canon 5D mark iii

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Canon 5D mark iii

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Canon 5D, mark iii

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Canon 5D, mark iii

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Canon 5D, Mark iii

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Photography By

John Stankovich

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A short history of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo:

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is located in Fresno, California.  It was formed around 1908 but was not certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums until 1929 when it was officially recognized as a zoo.  It was officially named the Roeding Park Zoo.  It is in Roeding Park just off Highway 99.

In the late 1940's the zoo acquired it's first Asian elephant and, after a city-wide naming contest, named her "Nosey".  The zoo also acquired about 100 other animals and birds during the 1940s.

In the 1950's exhibits for monkeys, camels, giraffes, and polar bears were added.  Also added was a sea lion exhibit and an African bird aviary.  In 1957 the zoo became an institutional member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

In 1965 Paul Chaffee was hired as the zoo's first director and veterinarian.  The responsibility of managing the zoo was transferred from the local Zoo Society to him.The zoo also began renovation of many zoo exhibits.

The zoo continued to expand in the 1970s and 1980s.  Nosey the elephant was still doing well.  Her habitat was renovated and a few new elephants joined the zoo exhibits.  Other animals and a Wildlife Education Center were added.  After Dr. Chaffee's death in 1990 the zoo was renamed after him.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s the zoo was struggling financially and a ballot measure ("Measure Z") was passed by 73% of the voters to support the zoo and provide future expansion.  It authorized a slight increase in local sales tax to provide funding for the zoo.

The zoo expanded from 18 to 39 acres over the next decade  An award winning Sea Lion Cove was constructed.  In January of 2014 the zoo broke ground for the African Adventure, 18 acres for large animals.  African Adventure includes space for elephants, lions, chetahs, hippos and other large animals.  It opened in October of 2015 to an excited community.  

I believe the Fresno Chaffee zoo is on its way to becoming a world class zoo.

                                                                                                         (References: Fresno Chaffee Zoo.org).