Bronx ZooAddress

2300
Southern Boulevard
Bronx
NY 10460
United States

Size of the Zoo

The Bronx Zoo has 265 acres (107ha) of exhibits and attractions.

History

Bronx Zoo opened on November 1899 with 843 animals housed in 22 exhibits. It was built on land which Fordham University sold to the City of New York for just $1,000 for the purpose of building a zoo. Their aim was that by having a zoo built there a buffer would exist between the university and urban sprawl. The Boone and Crocekett Club were responsible for founding and controlling the New York Zoological Society which would later become the Wildlife Conservation Society. The first director of the zoo was William Temple Hornaday.

During 1906 the zoo was embroiled in controversy when Ota Benga, a mbuti pygmy was placed on exhibit at the zoo. He was displayed alongside an ornagutan named Dohong.

Early on the zoo made efforts to get animals out of cages. This began in 1940 with the opening of the African Plains.

Wild Asia premiered in 1977 opening up 38 previously undeveloped acres. Visitors view it from a monorail.

Premiering in 1999 was the $43 million Congo Gorilla Forest.

In 2003 visitors were introduced to one of the zoo’s conservation projects when tiger mountain opened. It allows visitors up close of views of the tigers which could previously only be seen from the monorail.

During 2008 the Madagascar! Habitat opened introducing visitors to four lemur varities, crocodiles and hissing cockroaches.

On March 26 2011 a venomous Egyptian cobra escaped the zoo leading to the closure of the zoo’s reptile house. It lead to a Twitter parody, @BronxZoosCobra which shared his daily hijinks until his capture on March 31 in a non-public area of the reptile house.

Number of animals

The Bronx Zoo is home to about 4,000 animals representing around 600 species from all around the globe.

Attractions

4-D theatre

Using a variety of built-in sensory effects the zoo can bring 3-D movies to life. Remember to check the zoo’s website for what is currently showing.

Bug Carousel

Kids have the opportunity to ride upon their favourite insects such as praying mantids, grasshoppers and dung beetles.

Camel Rides

One of New York’s more unique transport options you can take an exciting spin on a camel.

Wild Asia Monorail

Enter the heart of Asia’s wilderness on their 20 minute guided journey where you can watch red pandas, elephants and rhinos.

Zoo Shuttle

The shuttle can transport you from Wild Asia to Zoo Centre via Tiger Mountain making it easier to get around this enormous zoo.

Make sure you check the zoo’s website for pricing, terms, conditions and seasonal operating hours.

Star Animals

Leo the snow leopard

Leo was  a 13 month old cub when a landslide in Pakistan’s Naltar Valley claimed the life of his mom. A shepherd found the cub along with his sister who unfortunately died a week later. With no captive rehabilitation and breeding centres in Pakistan the zoo offered to home the cub. He travelled to the zoo in August 2006. On April 9 2013 a cub was put on display which was Leo’s first born.  His story was even made into a book.

Main exhibits

African Plains The African Plains is an expansive barless habitat where you can enjoy views of lions, African wild dogs, giraffes, gazelles, nyala and zebra.

Aquatic Bird House and Sea Bird Aviary” Encounter a number of water loving birds at this habitat. It is the home of Caribbean flamingos, tufted puffins, Inca terns and magellanic penguins.

Baboon Reserve Meet the only troop of Gelada baboons in the U.S roaming through a recreation of the Ethiopian highlands. You can also meet Nubian ibex and rock hyrax.

Big Bears This exhibit provides a home for polar bears and a group of grizzly bears which were rescued from the wild.

Birds of Prey Some of the birds featured here include the snowy owl, bald eagle and king vulture.

Butterfly garden See over a dozen species of butterfly as they glide past you. This habitat is home to about 1,000 butterflies at a time.

Carter Giraffe Building Allows visitors to see the giraffes even during the winter months when it is too cold outside for them.

Children’s Zoo Meet a number of animals in the newly renovated Children’s Zoo. Kids get the opportunity to feed goats, sheep and alpaca a handful of grain.

Congo Gorilla Forest This 6.5 acre (2.6ha) exhibit houses 20 or so gorillas. It opened in 1999 and by 2014 had made $12.5 million to support conservation in Africa. It has also had great success in breeding with a number of gorillas, red river hog, okapi and guneons born here.

Himalayan Highlands Meet red pandas along with snow leopards like Leo.

JungleWorld Journey through the jungles of Asia to encounter ebony langurs, Malayan tapirs and white cheeked gibbons.  This habitat is housed in 1 acre large habitat. Animals are not separated by full height barriers instead ravines, streams and cliffs act as barriers.

Madagascar! This habitat was a renovation of the former “Lion House” which closed in late 1980s. Now It houses hissing cockroaches, Nile crocodiles, Coquerel’s sifaka, red ruffed lemur, ring tailed lemur, fossa and Madagascan tree boa.

Mouse House Enter the nocturnal world of rodents where short-eared elephant shrew, fennec fox and chinchilla can be seen along with others.

Sea Lion Pool This habitat sits in the middle of the park. Sea lions have lived at the zoo since 1899 when they were one of the first residents at the zoo.

Tiger Mountain Home of the Amur tigers from Russia.

World of Birds Observe numerous impressive avian creatures inhabiting open air exhibits. Here you can see Bali mynah, white-throated bee eater and great blue turaco.

World of Reptiles Meet scaly superstars such as the anaconda, alligator snapping turtle and the posion dart frog in this exhibit. There is even a reptile nursery where you can meet little lizards and tiny turtles.

Zoo Centre This exhibit was constructed in 1908 to resemble a palace. Currently it plays host to Aldabra tortoises, white rhinos and Komodo dragons.