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San Diego Zoo taking part in Rose Parade

The San Diego Zoo float for the Rose Parade in Pasedena is under construction on Dec. 15, 2021

The San Diego Zoo is bringing a float to the Rose Parade in Pasadena for the first time in more than 20 years.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is returning to the Rose Parade in Pasadena for the first time in more than 20 years.

The San Diego-based conservation organization is one of a handful of local groups taking part in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Others are the Mira Mesa “Sapphire Sound” High School Band and Color Guard, the Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, the Descanso-based Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society, and American Saddlebreds of Scripps Miramar Ranch.

The Zoo’s 55-foot long float stands 25-feet tall and it features three iconic animals that represent the Zoo, Safari Park and the Alliance’s conservation work.


“In the front you have the rhino, the condor and the lion,” said Marco Wendt, a spokesman for the San Diego zoo Wildlife Alliance. “The wings of the condor are going to be moving and flapping so that’s going to be really cool. The wingspan is impressive in its own right.”

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The float also features a globe highlight eight conservation hubs and scientists who do the alliance’s conservation work.

The idea is show how the zoo is creating allies to help with the interconnection of people, animals and ecosystems.

“Podemos mover montañas,” Wendt said. “together we can move mountains and that’s really what it is, especially with what’s been going on the past couple of years. This is sort of like a ray of hope I think for all communities that we can do something.”


The float also has a flowing waterfall that highlights the role of water which is essential to all life.

“Conservation is at the heart of everything we do, and it starts with the connection we make with people and wildlife every day at the Zoo and Safari Park,” said Paul. A. Baribault, president and chief executive officer of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

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San Diego Zoo taking part in Rose Parade

“True conservation successes are only made possible through ocal and global partnerships that include communities, fellow conservation organizations, government agencies, as well as support from our amazing members, donors, guests, foundations, and companies who support our mission,” Baribault said.

The last time the zoo had a float in the parade, the organization was celebrating its 80th anniversary in 1996.