Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park
The Bronx Zoo, which first opened in 1899, is the largest metropolitan zoo in the nation, with more than 6,000 animals and many fascinating exhibits and programs. The zoo's long history of preservation has included significant success with American bison, snow leopards, lowland gorillas (pictured on left), Chinese alligators, Mauritius pink pigeons, and over 40 other species. The zoo's dedication to wildlife conservation, education, and innovative exhibits makes it a fantastic place to spend an afternoon, but leave plenty of time to explore; there are plenty of indoor exhibits to see when the weather turns chilly.
© Wildlife Conservation Society headquartered at the Bronx Zoo
At the Zoo
by Jason Wiggins
For those visitors brave enough to venture off the island of Manhattan into the wilds of the other four boroughs, the Bronx Zoo is a must see. The zoo is huge, over five hundred acres, with animals from all over the world in habitats constructed to look like their native habitats. The size of the zoo allows for animals too large to be kept in the city's other zoos; lions, gorillas, bears, giraffes, buffalo, elephants, rhinoceroses and a thousand other species. The complexity of the many pathways and buildings of the zoo make it easy to get lost. A map helps make exploring much easier. There are also signposts throughout the zoo, which will help you find your way.
Getting into the zoo can be a little confusing because there is not an obvious ticket booth, at least not at the Fordham Road entrance; you just walk or drive up to the gate, drop your admission fee into the donations box, the attendant hands you a map and off you go, with no actual ticket or receipt. The admission fee covers most of the exhibits, but others, like World of Darkness, Congo Gorilla Forest and Wild Asia Monorail, costs an extra fifty cents to two or three dollars.
The zoo is too large to see in one day; if you want to see all the animals and ride all of the rides, plan to visit on two or possibly even three consecutive days. Spending all of this time there means that you most likely will be eating the zoo's food, which is reasonably good and more importantly, not too expensive (lunch for one person costs a little over six dollars). The Bronx Zoo is a great place to visit with kids of all ages and is popular with families and tour groups.