Central Park Zoo
Welcome to the Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo. Here, just a few yards from 5th Ave. you’ll find over 130 different species ranging from giant Polar Bears to the open-air tropical aviary. A walk around the Zoo’s five plus acres will take you through a variety of habitats, all carefully designed to recreate the natural environment of the animals they house. At the left you’ll see a list of links to the pages describing all of the Zoo’s inhabitants. Be sure to check out the renovated Polar Seabirds exhibit with their 6 new King Penguins and the Children's Zoo's newest member - A newborn baby Mini-Nubian Goat!
East Side between 63rd and 66th Streets
March 31 - May 27 Weekdays 10 am - 5:00 pm Weekends & Holidays 10 am - 5:30 pm
May 28 - Sep 3 Memorial Day/Labor Day - 10 am - 5:30 pm
Sep 4 - Nov 4 - Mon to Fri 10 am - 5 pm, Weekends & Holidays 10 am - 5:30 pm
Nov. - March Daily 10 am - 4:30 pm
* Admission to Wildlife Center includes admission to Children's Zoo: Adults $12.00; Senior Citizens (65+) $9.00; Children 3-12 $7.00; Children under 3, Free
* General Information: 212-439-6500
UPDATE: The Central Park Zoo Education Department has opened registration for it's fall and winter youth, family, and adult programs. These classes are interactive, include live animal encounters, and offer unique experience for guests at the various zoo exhibits. Classes are held on weekdays and weekends, as well as school holidays.
Visit their website for more details:
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Polar Circle contains two of the Zoo's most popular guests – Polar Bears Ida (on the right) and Gus. Alongside Polar Bears lies an exhibit featuring waterfowl and nearby is the Ice Pack building which houses 59 Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins along with the Tufted Puffins and 6 NEW King Penguins!
The Rain Forest houses a brilliant collection of tropical birds including the Crested Coua of Madagascar and the Victoria Crowned Pigeons of New Guinea. Here you’ll also find enough frogs, lizards, snakes, toads and various other squirmy things to keep any little girl or boy enraptured for their entire visit. Then there are the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, as well as three species of Tamarins, to represent the primates of the tropics.
The Temperate Territory includes the California Sea Lion tank at the center of the exhibit and stretches around the rear of the Zoo. This section is home to the Red Pandas and Japanese Macaques. Here you’ll also find the lovely Swan Geese. Look for three amazing Snow Leopards to come to the Zoo in June of 2009.
The first incarnation of the zoo in Central Park came about almost by accident. It began with New Yorkers dropping off unwanted animals at the arsenal. These included everything from 72 white swans to a black bear cub (everything, that is, except the apocryphal alligators that found their way to the sewer system.) In 1864 the legislature approved the construction of a several buildings to house the growing collection and the Central Park Menagerie was born. In 1934 Parks Commissioner Robert Moses used Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds to construct what was, for its time, a state-of-the-art facility. Designed with a storybook theme the new Central Park Zoo provided a greatly improved home for the animals and a wonderful place to visit them.
As time passed, however, it became apparent that the zoo was becoming woefully inadequate for the residents. In the spring of 1980 the Wildlife Conservation Society entered into an agreement with the City of New York to renovate and operate the zoo on behalf of the Parks Department. Construction was finished by 1985 and the new Central Park Zoo was a reality, and the park once again was home to a facility which is considered one of the finest of its kind. The zoo in Central Park now attracts nearly a million visitors a year from all over the world.
The new zoo is divided into several different sections which provide the animals with homes as close to their natural habitat as possible. These include tropic, temperate and polar zones that house everything from tiny leafcutter ants to the hugely popular polar bears. The zoo is also actively involved the preservation of endangered species, providing a home for rare tamarin monkeys, Wyoming toads, thick-billed parrots, and red pandas.
The zoo has always held a special spot in the hearts of New Yorkers who have come to adopt the animals as prized members of the metropolitan community. The early menagerie was home to "Murphy" the hippo and "Mike Crowley," the first chimpanzee ever shown in the United States. In fact, when Mr. Crowley took ill, get well cards poured in from fans all over the city. The current “personalities” that have become crowd favorites include polar bears Gus and Ida and a pair of red pandas: Goodwin, and his new mate.
Other popular pages
Central Park New York City [Homepage]