The Bronx Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the United States. Thanks to that, it can house more than 17,000 animals, meaning it has no shortage of attractions for interested individuals. These animals come from a wide range of environments, which is why they live in a wide range of exhibits. It is a good idea for people to check out what kinds of exhibits exist before heading out. That should enable them to get the most out of a day at the Bronx Zoo in New York City’s borough of the Bronx.
It is no exaggeration to say that the American bison is one of the first wildlife conservation success stories. At one point, the species was down to a few hundred animals because of drought, introduced competition, over-exploitation, and a deliberate attempt at destroying the species. Thankfully, the first wildlife conservationists intervened in the early 20th century, which proved successful beyond anyone’s expectations. The Bronx Zoo is rightfully proud of its historical role in saving the American bison, seeing as how it bred herds of the animals before sending them out to repopulate their native range. This exhibit is a great way for people to learn about not just the American bison but also the Bronx Zoo’s role in saving the American bison.
Bears are charismatic animals. For proof, look no further than the popularity of teddy bears. The Bronx Zoo’s Big Bears exhibit is another excellent example of its conservation efforts. Some of the bears were orphaned cubs. Others became too comfortable around humans. The last one might sound strange. Even so, there are very good reasons why people are discouraged from feeding bears and otherwise interacting with them. The gist of it is that bears return to known sources of food again and again. Feeding them encourages further interactions with humans, thus increasing the chances for something to go catastrophically wrong. Fortunately, the Bronx Zoo’s Big Bears exhibit is a great way for interested individuals to see these animals without endangering either the bears, themselves, or everyone around them.
Butterflies are some of the most popular insects on the planet. In considerable part, that is because butterflies are beautiful. For instance, malachite butterflies received their name because their wings bear bright green flecks bordered in black. Similarly, zebra butterflies live up to their name by bearing lighter-colored stripes running across their wings. Besides this, people also like butterflies because they are pollinators, though they aren’t as effective as some of their counterparts. Those interested in butterflies should check out the Bronx Zoo’s Butterfly Garden, which features more than a dozen butterfly species. Moreover, there are also birds, turtles, and koi fish in the greenhouse plus the meadow. Please note that the Butterfly Garden is a seasonal attraction available from April to October because of butterflies’ life cycles.
Congo Gorilla Forest
Currently, there are just two surviving populations of mountain gorillas. The better-known of the two tends to be the population living in the Virunga Mountains, which extend into Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas are fascinating creatures. After all, there are just four kinds of great apes. Humans are one of them. The other three are gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. There is a huge gulf between humans and gorillas. Despite that, just a short period of observation will reveal that each gorilla is an individual with a one-of-a-kind personality. Of course, the Congo Gorilla Forest is based on a real environment. That means it has other inhabitants. Examples range from mandrills to okapis. Mandrills are huge monkeys famous for the bright-colored skin on both their faces and their rears. Meanwhile, okapis are giraffe relatives with brown bodies but zebra-patterned legs.
The Himalayan Highlands are home to two of the Bronx Zoo’s best-known species. One would be the snow leopard, which is famous because of the white-gray, spotted coat that enables it to blend into its mountainous surroundings. The other would be the red panda. It was the original panda. Its giant-sized counterpart didn’t gain the name until later because of the two species’ perceived similarities. Unfortunately, scientific investigation has confirmed that the giant panda is a real member of the bear family, meaning it isn’t closely related to the red panda at all. Regardless, the red panda is popular in its own right because of its incredible cuteness. Something that becomes evident in no more than moments.
Madagascar split off from the African mainland millions and millions of years ago. Thanks to that, its wildlife had the chance to develop in relative isolation, with the result that the overwhelming majority of the island’s extant species are now found nowhere else on the planet. Some of Madagascar’s best-known species are sifakas and other lemurs, which exist nowhere else in the world. However, this exhibit is also home to everything from fossas to Nile crocodiles. Amusingly, interested individuals will also come upon huge hissing cockroaches in Madagascar!, as though normal cockroaches weren’t scary enough.
Other Information For Would-Be Visitors
There are just a small number of Bronx Zoo exhibits. As mentioned earlier, the zoo is home to more than 17,000 animals, which include everything from birds and reptiles to mammals and invertebrates. The other exhibits reflect that diversity. To name some examples, there is both a World of Birds for bird lovers and a World of Reptiles for reptile enthusiasts. Similarly, there are other location-based exhibits such as African Plains plus other species-focused exhibits such as the Mouse House.
Visitors should head to 2300 Southern Boulevard for the Bronx Zoo. All-day parking is available, though it costs $20 for a car and $23 for a bus. Meanwhile, the price of admission is $33.95 for anyone 13 or older, $28.95 for anyone 65 or older, $23.95 for anyone 3 to 12, and free for anyone younger than that. These numbers are by no means guaranteed to remain permanent, meaning interested individuals should always do some independent research. That is particularly true because they should also look up the Bronx Zoo’s rules, which are meant to keep everyone safe.
A Day At The Bronx Zoo article published on ClassicNewYorkHistory.com ©2022
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