Are you an animal lover visiting New York City? I got you covered!
Here are five places where you can admire animals from all over the world in the Big Apple.
Keep in mind that some of the attractions inside the zoo require a separate admission ticket, and don't forget to check their official websites before going to find out about the latest exhibitions, special events, and opening hours!
The Wildlife Conservation Society manages the four zoos and aquarium listed below with the goal of preserving animal species, inspire and educate visitors of all ages.
The Bronx Zoo spans over 265 acres of natural habitats, and it's home to over 8,000 animals making it the largest metropolitan zoo in the U.S.
It hosts gorillas, snow leopards, buffalos, zebras, giraffes, lions, and other animals typical of different environments like the savannah or the Asian rainforest.
The Bronx Zoo was one of the first zoos in the U.S. that moved animals from cages to replicas of their original living environments mixing different animal species to create a more realistic context for the animals and the visitors.
Some exhibits are included in the general admission tickets, while others, like the Butterfly Zone, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and the Children Zoo, require additional fees.
Once you've enjoyed all of the award-winning exhibits the Bronx Zoo has to offer, check the nearby New York Botanical Garden.
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo, a 6.5-acre park, offers a view of animals in their natural habitat rather than in cages. While this is becoming more and more standard, the Central Park Zoo was a relative pioneer in it.
The zoo features two separate areas: the wildlife center and the Tisch Children's Zoo, a petting area with domestic animals particularly popular among kids.
The Central Park Zoo hosts three major exhibit areas: tropic, temperate and polar. The exhibits are located around the Central Garden that features a square sea lion pool in its center.
Among the animals that live at the Central Park Zoo there are snow leopards, sea lions, grizzly bears, snow monkeys, red pandas, cranes, tropical birds, lemurs, and penguins.
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium located at Coney Island, near Astroland Amusement park, is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the U.S.
The aquarium spans over 14 acres and features 266 species of aquatic wildlife. It hosts several programs and events to raise public awareness about issues facing the ocean and its inhabitants.
The New York Aquarium consists of six exhibits: the Conservation Hall, the Aquatheater, the Sea Cliffs, the Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, Spineless and Sharks, Rays & Turtles.
It also features a 4-D Theater, an Educational Hall, and several spots where to eat. The aquarium offers wildlife encounters and otter-feeding experiences.
Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo covers 12 acres in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and offers a unique and exciting experience for children thanks to its up-close animal viewing design.
The Prospect Park Zoo houses nearly 400 animals of 150 species, including red pandas, dingos, North American river otters, Pallas's cats, black-footed cats, sea lions, cotton-top tamarins, meerkats, and many more!
If you haven't had enough fun for the day, close to the zoo are located the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
The Queens Zoo, an 18-acre park, is home to 70 animals that live in very original habitats.
The zoo features more than 75 species native to the Americas, like the Southern pudu, the American bison, and Andean bears, the only South American bear species.
The Queens Zoo is also home to some sea lions, bald eagles, exotic birds, turtles, coyotes, and pumas.
If you visit the zoo with children, make sure that you take the time to visit the farmyard area so your little ones can feed and pet some of the friendlier and rare breeds of domestic animals, including Flemish giant rabbits, Texas longhorn cattle, and Jacob's four-horned sheep. The zoo is located relatively near the Queens Museum of Art and the New York Hall of Science.
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