The San Diego Zoological Society became interested in developing the Wild Animal Park in 1964. The idea of the park began as a supplementary breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo, which would allow space for larger animals. The development proposed would differ significantly from that of a typical zoo in that animals would be shown in a natural environment rather than cages. In 1964, the park was assessed financially and then moved into the next phase; resulting in three developments. There was an idea for a conservation farm, a game preserve, and a natural environment zoo. The estimated initial cost was 1.7 million. The main purpose of this zoo was to converse species and to breed animals for the San Diego Zoo. When it came to naming the park, five titles were considered: San Diego Animal Land, San Diego Safari Land, San Diego Wild Animal Safari, San Diego Wildlife Park and San Diego Wild Animal Park. The scheduled opening day of the park was set for April 1, 1972; however, the gates did not open until May 10th, 1972. The general layout of the park, designed by Charles Faust, included a large lagoon with a jungle plaze, an African fishing village, an aviary at the entrance of the park and approximately 50,000 plants were to be included in the landscaping. Although the park was scheduled to open in three years from the time of groundbreaking, the total development of the park was estimated to take 10 years. The first two animals to arrive at the park was an antelope and a Zebra. 

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