Mobile Exhibit for the Folsom Zoo

April 24th, 2012

We designed a reptile presentation cart for the education outreach program at the Folsom Zoo.  The cart was designed to be able to display various reptile species for travels to schools and events.  We designed a versatile enclosure that included a moveable branch that could be displayed both horizontally and vertically.  The enclosure is both an animal carrier as well as an educational display.  The animal can be carried to and from the zoo, and then the glass can be removed to allow for a more interactive educational experience.













The Folsom Zoo is an excellent zoo with a focus on native and local species.  We’ve been big fans and supporters of this zoo for years.  If you’re in the area, the Folsom Zoo is a great way to spend the day with your family.

Giant Anteater Renovation at the San Francisco Zoo

April 24th, 2012

We were  asked to renovate an exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo that was originally built in the 1940s, renovated in the 1960s, and has been unused for decades.  Recently the exhibit had been modified to house Angelo, their male giant anteater, off-exhibit.  Here’s how the exhibit looked when we first encountered it.

exhibit before ZooFab renovation

We researched the habits and habitat of the giant anteater and spoke with all of Angelo’s keepers.  One of the main goals of the exhibit was to provide multiple feeding options for Angelo. Here’s a reference photo of a giant anteater inspecting a termite mound in Brazil.


After finalizing our plans with the curators and keepers we broke ground.


Here’s the structure phase.



And the concrete phase.


Finished, but waiting for paint.


Close-up of a finished concrete log.


The finished exhibit.


Angelo in his new home.


We had a great time learning about giant anteaters and working with the curators and keepers at the San Francisco Zoo.


There’s lots of new and exciting exhibits and additions happening at the SF Zoo.  Go check it out!

You can view more photos of this project in our photo gallery.

ZooFab’s Latest Exhibit Opens at the California Academy of Sciences

February 14th, 2012

Due to the success of the ZooFab designed temporary enclosure for Lemondrop, the albino reticulated python, the Academy asked ZooFab to design and build a permanent home for Lemondrop in the Academy Store.  “We wanted to make this exhibit reflect the habitat where the animal lives as well as invoke the culture of that region,” says Ben Aller, CEO of Zoological Fabrication, “We chose Angkor Wat and the surrounding jungles as reference for this temple ruins exhibit.”

Angkor Wat Ruins source









exhibit photos by Mary Van Note

As an exciting change, the store at the California Academy of Sciences will be open to the public during store hours.  It is the only animal exhibit now open to the general public free of charge every day.  Please stop by and see Lemondrop in his new home.

Vine Special!

June 2nd, 2011

ZooFab is having a vine special!  Our vines are sturdy and flexible and vary in diameter from 1 inch to over 3 inches.  Our vines have custom ends to meet your specific needs and most vines can hold up to and over 300 pounds!  Call us for pricing and more info 916.420.5552.

vine special

ZooFab’s New Exhibit Opens for “The Summer of Slither”

May 12th, 2011

ZooFab recently completed a large Python reticulatus exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA.


We were honored to be asked to design and fabricate a state of the art retic exhibit as a draw-in for the Academy’s new reptile exhibit Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither.


Working closely with the husbandry, mechanical, marketing and administrative staff at the Academy was a great experience and we were proud to be a part of this dedicated team.


As longtime large snake keepers ourselves (several of the ZooFab team members are active herpetoculturists) it was fun to apply our years of hands-on experience to the design and fabrication of this exciting exhibit.



We wanted to show off the finished product in this blog post.  Look for some more detailed, personal and behind the scenes blog posts coming soon.



Don’t forget to take your friends and family to the California Academy of Sciences.  The Summer of Slither exhibit runs to September 5, 2011.  The California Academy of Sciences is the only zoo, aquarium AND natural history museum on the west coast and it’s a great way to connect with animals and people.  See you there!


For more photos please visit our gallery.
Check out this video from ABC News featuring ZooFab.

Welcome to ZooFab

February 2nd, 2011

Welcome to our first post.  We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about what ZooFab is, what will be on this blog and who the person is behind it.

ZooFab is short for Zoological Fabrication, a naturalistic fabrication company located in Sacramento, CA that specializes in habitat-based, species-specific exhibits and design.  We study the diverse habitats of the world, and aspire to recreate those natural spaces to provide stimulating exhibits for animals and viewers alike.  We  incorporate the disciplines of modern husbandry technique, new technology, natural history and the use of both natural and artificial materials when we  create naturalistic environments whether its for a zoo, museum, aquarium, restaurant, or residential project.

strangler fig sample frogs_two

On this blog we’ll take you to zoos around the country with our Zoo Reviews, share the books we liked or didn’t in our Book Reviews, and showcase some of what we’re creating in our Naturalistic Fabrication category.  We’ll even show you some of the reptiles we’ve seen in the wild in our Field Herping section, and explore the colorful history of zoos in the Zoo History category.

The owner and primary visionary of ZooFab is Ben Aller.


Ben has over 15 years experience in building and maintaining naturalistic exhibits and almost 20 years experience in keeping, breeding and writing about exotic animals.

Here is Ben holding a bunch of captive bred Varanus dumerilii .  Ben has bred this species to 4 generations in captivity!


Ben spent years as a volunteer at local zoos, owned a custom reptile enclosure business and started a natural history education program for local elementary schools.


Ben has built exhibits for clients like the California Academy of Sciences, East Bay Vivarium and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. This flying fox exhibit was designed and built by ZooFab for the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.

Palo Alto Flying Fox

Thank you for visiting.  Be sure to bookmark this blog and/or subscribe.  We’ve got a lot of great posts planned!