Bronx Zoo  

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10460

You should know
I’ve been meaning to go here ever since I started school in New York and realized that the Zoo has pay-what-you-will Wednesdays. I was visiting Chris for a few days, and since we are both trying to save some money (and since it was absolutely gorgeous out), this was an excellent option.

We got there after lunch, giving us a good three to four hours to roam the grounds. Since it was still technically winter, most of the good stuff was indoors, so we hit the monkey house (neat, but smelly – and featuring a few babies!), the aquatic bird house, JungleWorld (more baby monkeys, and a turtle trying to get some action from his disinterested girlfriend), and the World of Birds. Why yes, we did see a lot of birds. Outside, we went to find bears, birds of prey, sea birds (including penguins!), tigers, and the Himalayan Highlands. We just missed a Tiger Enrichment Session, but stumbled upon the Bee-Eater Buffet just in time.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable day.

Still, I have some recommendations.

A bit of advice
First, bring a camera – either a digital camera, or an old-school camera with a ton of film. There were a lot of scenes Chris and I wanted to capture, but since he forgot his camera, and I only had 10 shots left on mine, our options were limited.

Second, do not feed the animals. Not only is it stupid, inhumane, cruel, possibly dangerous, and possibly illegal (or at the very least against the rules of the zoo), it ruins things for the other visitors. I wanted to take a picture of swimming penguins – not of terns and cormorants fighting over your leftover Doritos. Disgusting on multiple levels. Just don’t do it.

Third, and I am a bit more sympathetic on this one, please follow the rules about strollers. I know your kid is little, and is asleep/stubborn/apt to run off, or whatever, and I do understand that the stroller parking lots are “leave at your own risk,” and you’re probably using the handy pockets and storage compartments instead of a purse. I get that. Even so, if an exhibit clearly states “no strollers,” please consider that there is, in fact, a reason. There are plenty of places in these exhibits where maybe – if you wiggle and squeeze – one stroller can fit. One stroller and no people. Which is fine if there’s only one stroller. But when you have eight strollers and thirty people all trying to take their turn in that space, well, it’s just not going to work. And it really hurts to get hit by a moving stroller.

Go on a Wednesday
I really did enjoy my time there. I grew up with the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Bronx Zoo easily competes (I can’t tell you who wins until I see both zoos post-construction). And even at full price, the Bronx Zoo is less expensive than its counterpart. Even so, any time you go to a zoo, you risk crowds, rain, sunburn, idiots with Doritos, and all sorts of fun things like that – and maybe you’ll bring your kids, and they’ll cry or fall asleep. You’ll feel better about leaving if you paid $4 than if you paid $14.

The rest of the Internet
The Wikipedia page.
Little Alexander visited the zoo, so you can see its kid-friendly-ness.
Some animal pictures from the zoo.
An interview with the zoo's curator.
Learn about the compost toilets at the zoo.
Apparently, in the '80s there was a tv show called The Bronx Zoo.

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