If you mean anything to me, you have been or will eventually come to the Zoo with me. It makes me so very happy. The Bronx Zoo is the one place I can remember going to all the time as a kid. The facility has changed dramatically over the years, all in the name of conservation and education. Last year I finally purchased a membership and visited the zoo four times that summer (the membership paid for itself in two visits!).
This is an image of the Elephant enclosure the way it was decades ago when the Zoo first opened. Depressing isn't it?
This is how the Elephant enclosure looks now. These two ladies are over 40 years old and have lived together in this spot for awhile. There's no iron bars and plenty of space to roam. I took this from the monorail. It's an electric tram that goes through a section of the zoo. The Elephants don't have to worry about being bothered by folks or having any snot-nosed kids throw peanuts at them or what have you. They just get to hang out, play in the pool and do their Elephant thing. Progress, you can't stop it, and the Zoo doesn't plan to.
I don't even need to Google images for the place, I've got plenty of my own!
Just look how happy we are
If you live in the Northeast, you have no reason for missing a day at the zoo. They're open from 10am to 5pm and I'm telling you right now, it is absolutely impossible to see everything in that period of time-believe me, I've tried!
Here's a map of the Zoo, sucker is huge!
One thing I must warn you about though, is the Peacocks. Sure they're beautiful and majestic but you will soon discover after walking through the gates of the Bronx Zoo, the Peacocks are total jerks. They can jump really high and therefore are constantly escaping from their habitat. They roam around like they own the place and eat everything they can get in their beaks. You will find them literally everywhere throughout the Zoo.
A few years back one actually got out and was found on the second floor balcony of an apartment complex! What a butthead!
Doesn't he look comfy? Yeah, that's not his habitat! He's chilling in a section for the Children's Petting Zoo, go home Peacock!
Like I said, you can learn a lot here. Education is extremely important to the folks in the Bronx. For example: did you know mother Rhino's carry their young for 18 months?! It's true, learned it at the Zoo. I also learned that Zoos "lend" out animals to prevent inbreeding. They want to keep the species going, but they're being smart about it. You won't find Tigers making babies with their babies anymore, no siree, that's just icky. So when the breeding season begins, Zoos will trade their animal residents and track the gene pool using a very important and elaborate charting system. Conservation is about quality, not quantity.
The result of a love connection-baby Giraffe!
This summer brings something all new and super exciting to the Bronx Zoo-Dinosaurs! Visitors are going to get the chance to dig for fossils, ride on an educational safari through time and meet the authors of some very popular children's books about Dinosaurs. Visit the Zoo's website for details.
If you don't live in the Northeast, please check out the local Zoo's (and Aquariums!) in your area. You have no idea how hard these facilities work to keep the various species (both endangered and domestic) around for everyone to enjoy. No matter how big or small, all Zoos strive to educate the public about these wonderful creatures.
I took all of these. Ain't the Zoo grand? :)