A to Z at the Bronx Zoo

Last month a friend and I took a trip to the Bronx Zoo, in New York. Known as one of the best in the country and the largest urban zoo in the U.S. I went once when I was about five, and can’t remember having gone back. Here are some of the images I took, the animals I saw, and some advice if you’re thinking of going.

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The zoo offers different types of tickets. There are General Admission tickets which gets you access to most of the zoo, but not things like the butterfly house or the gorilla forest. Rather the Total Experience tickets give you access to everything.

It’s a bit unfortunate that buying a ticket to the zoo doesn’t get you a ticket to the zoo. Instead you get access to most of the zoo. But for the additional cost, I’d definitely get the ticket that allows you to see the special monkey/gorilla exhibit.

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There were a few large bears on display in different exhibits. They’re not enclosed in cages but able to roam around on rocks and through brush. At first you’re surprised how close you are until you see there are large gaps between the bears and the guest path. Unless the bears gain superpowers, they’re not going to be able to jump the gap.

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There are quite a few birds at the zoo, and the zoo exhibits them well. Here’s a pelican spreading its wings.

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It doesn’t seem like a polar bear would be too comfortable during a summer in New York. Here’s the zoo’s polar bear playing with a giant beach ball in a giant swimming pool.

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The sea lion exhibit is definitely worth checking out. They really are like pet dogs, jumping and playing and chasing one another. If you can, try to stop by during one of their feeding times.

Sea Lion feeding:
Apr.–Oct.: 11:00 a.m. (except Wednesdays) and 3:00 p.m.
Nov.–Mar.: 10:30 a.m. (except Wednesdays) and 3:00 p.m

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You can’t go to a zoo without searching out the obligatory giraffe.

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This golden lion monkey was a fan favorite with the kids. He came up to the front of his space many times to jump around and play games with the viewers.

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Most people have already heard this before they head to the zoo, but they make sure to tell you: Flamingos get their color from what they eat. Usually a diet rich in shrimp, usually brine shrimp, helps them to stay pink.

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I would not recommend spending the extra money on the butterfly house. The ticket we purchase was the “Total Experience” so we got access to the Gorilla Forest and the Butterfly House. But otherwise I wouldn’t pay just to see the butterflies. I was expecting something much greater than what I saw. Sure there were butterflies, but nothing even semi-impressive. A few here and there. If you’re thinking you’ll walk in and be hit with a swarm of gorgeous insects like something out of a cartoon, you’ll be disappointed. Save your cash and skip this if you can.

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This is a kookaburra. Just like the song. I’ve heard the song tons of times as a kid, but I’m not sure if I could have picked out what the bird actually looked like.

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And of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete without seeing a giant jungle cat. Here a tiger gets up from his nap and I was able to snap a picture.

Overall I really enjoyed the trip. Whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, or with family, I’d recommend taking a trip over to the zoo. Wednesday is “donation day” where the cost of a ticket is just what you choose to donate. I’d recommend avoiding this day, especially during the summer, as it tends to bring out huge crowds.

Did I miss a picture of anything you’d like to see? What’s your favorite animal at the zoo?

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