The Central Park Zoo only spans 6.5 acres but it holds a lot of history and wildlife. The Central 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, the Prospect Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, and the New York Aquarium.
The zoo officially opened in the 1860s, which makes it the oldest zoo in New York City. Originally, the zoo caged its animals. However, the zoo soon began to create open spaces simulating their natural environment for the animals to roam in.
Today, the zoo features three major exhibition areas: tropic, temperate, and polar. Inside the zoo, there is an indoor rainforest and a cool penguin house. The indoor rainforest is home to fruit bats and other birds and there are spaces where they can freely fly. The Central Park Zoo is also home to a medley of endangered species, such as tamarind monkeys, thick-billed parrots, and red pandas. Additionally, the zoo creates a breeding ground for the endangered species to reproduce.
Just like other iconic New York City sites, the Central Park zoo has been featured numerously in pop culture. For example, the Madagascar series featured an animated version of the zoo. Among other famous movies that featured the park are Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Some shows, like How I Met Your Mother, and some books, like The Catcher in the Rye, also featured the Central Park Zoo in some capacity. This zoo is beloved by all who step foot in it.
The zoo is an excellent way for kids to spend time and discover an empathy for wildlife. Kids will love watching the animals in their natural habitat and learning more about them.
E 64th St & 5th Ave, New York, NY 10021
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Take the N, R, or Q subway lines to the Fifth Avenue/59th Street station or take the 6 subway line to the 68th Street/Hunter College station. Visitors can also take the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M66, or Q32 bus lines, all of which stop between 59th St. and 65th St.
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