It's All Happenin' at the Bronx Zoo
as far back as Dutch colonial times, seems New Amsterdam
was always abuzz about some "great whale" that
had lost its way up the Hudson River or other exotic 4-footed
specimans put on exhibit by a traveling sideshow.
New Yorkers were witness to their first rhinocerous at (Peale's
Museum on Broadway) as headlines screamed:..."its body
and limbs are covered with a skin so hard and impervious
that he fears neither the claws of the tiger nor the proboscis
of the elephant!"
fascination with local fauna as well as exotic species continued
when, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the "Central
Park Menagerie" first officially opened its doors in
1864 to become the the country's second publicly owned zoo
(after the Philadelphia Zoo, founded almost five years earlier.)
to be outdone, by 1899 the Bronx boasted its own zoo with
a mission to serve not only as public entertainment, but
to use its wide expanses to house endangered animals. There
were 843 animals in all, housed in 22 separate exhibits.
the pride of its collection was its herd of endangered American
bison. Today, many bison in the western U.S. are descendents
of those Bronx Zoo animals.
nearly a century, the Bronx Zoo is now world famous for
its continuing work in protecting endangered species, and
boasts some 4,000 species of animals along with the title
of World's Largest Zoo, comprising 265 acres of city parklands.
at the Asian rain forest.
Bronx Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10AM to 5PM on weekdays
and 10AM to 5:30PM on weekends and holidays.
admission prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and
$11 for children (kids under 2 are always admitted free).
(Pay-One-Price) Pass provides seven admissions to the zoo
plus special attractions (excluding camel rides) at one
low price beginning at $25 for adults and somewhat cheaper
for seniors and children.
Wednesday's at the Bronx Zoo are always "pay as you
wish", and very popular with local school groups and
large families. Just be warned that as a result it also
proves to be the busiest and most crowded day of the week.
of the zoo include its pride of snow leopards which have
been successfully bred at the Bronx Zoo, with 82 cubs
born between 1966 to 1999.
don't miss the Congo Gorilla Forest, 6.5 acres devoted
to an African rain forest habitat and home to 400 animals
including 23 lowland gorillas, one of the largest breeding
groups in North America.
toddlers and kids of all ages, the Butterfly Garden (opened
from March to November) is another delight as 1,000 brilliantly
colored butterflies flutter freely through the outdoor
you're in the city for the Christmas season, also don't
miss their special programs including a light display
with animal topiary ablaze with thousands of holiday lights.
to Get to the Bronx Zoo
acres of land are given over to the animals, too little
is alloted for cars which, on too many occasions, results
in families abandoning their zoo plans for want of a parking
space...so mass transit is always strongly advised especially
during the summer season.
Express Bus from Manhattan :
Take the BxM11 express bus along Madison Avenue that travels
directly to the Zoos Bronx River entrance (Gate B).
Within the Bronx :
Take Bx9 or Bx19 buses to 183rd Street and Southern Blvd,
near Gate C, or the Bx12 or Bx22 buses to Fordham Road and
Southern Blvd, then walk 5 blocks south on Southern Blvd
to 183rd Street.
Take the Q44 to 180th Street and Boston Road, then walk
north to the Bronx Zoos Asia gate entrance (Gate A).
Take the #2 or #5 train to East Tremont Ave/West Farms Square.
Walk 2 1/2 blocks along Boston Road to the zoos Asia
gate entrance (Gate A).
Train From Grand Central Terminal
Take Metro Norths Harlem line to Fordham, then take
the Bx9 bus eastward to 183rd Street and Southern Blvd.
about the Bronx Zoo around the Web:
Bronx Zoo - Official Site
Zoo and Botanical Gardens Photos
Zoo - Are We There Yet?