The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation manages the Prospect Park Zoo, in addition to the Queens Zoo. Though it initially opened in 1935, Prospect Park Zoo closed in 1988 for reconstruction. During the five-year period when it shut down, the city started a $37 million project that completely renovated the zoo’s interior.
Prospect Park Zoo
The Zoo is home to 101 animal species that total over 600 animals. The Prospect Park Zoo is part of the system of zoos and aquaria managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Wildlife Conservation Society also manages the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, and the New York Aquarium.
Today, the zoo sees about 300,000 visitors a year, who can participate in children’s educational programs that teach about conservation efforts and wildlife preservation. One can experience the theater that features educational programming regarding wildlife. In addition, the zoo partners up with various city initiatives and volunteer programs for local community members.
Four themed exhibitions are featured: Discovery trail, Animal Lifestyles Hall of Animals and Children’s zoo.
The zoo allows visitors to explore the idea of living in an animal’s habitat along the woodland trail and a 2500 square-ft aviary. Further on the discovery trail also allows for exploration of world of wildlife. This exhibit is outdoor.
The Animal Lifestyles on the other hand is an indoor exhibit which demonstrates the different lifestyles of animals on land, in the air and in the water. It shows how an animal’s habitat determines its lifestyle.
The Hall of Animals features many learning opportunities. One one side, it features the Conservation Station, this is followed by conservation themed activities such as science experiments, citizen science project and many more educational opportunities alongside a variety of smaller animals. On the other side of the exhibit you will find animals that have adapted to the life at night.
Lastly, the zoo presents an outdoor domestic animal area which introduces children to the animals of the farm. Here you will find friendly goats, sheep, alpacas, miniature horses and miniature zebu (a species of cattle). Additionally, there are seasonal birds such as great horned owl, wreathed hornbills and beautiful pheasants.
The Prospect Park Zoo provides visitors with myriad opportunities to engage with and learn about wildlife. This zoo is a gem.