New York City is a city of superlatives and fittingly is home to the largest urban zoo in the country. Between the Bronx Zoo and the nearby New York Botanical Garden, almost 1.5% of the land in the Bronx is dedicated to the curation, study, and preservation of exotic plants and animals. While lines can get long, particularly on summer weekends, the zoo is an easy escape from the pressures of the city and a convenient way to reconnect with the natural world. The zoo reinvents itself with the change of the seasons, so come back often.

I advise you to take excellent care of that specimen; for when it is gone, you never will get another. The species soon will be extinct.
- Albert Le Souef

What You Will See

The Bronx Zoo is home to the usual array of charismatic megafauna: lions, gorillas, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and bears. The zoo takes equal care with the smallest of animals, with a butterfly garden, a mouse house, and a collection of 100,000 hissing cockroaches. Five separate exhibits are dedicated to birds. Going deeper into the animal kingdom, the zoo is home to a Komodo Dragon, Snow Leopards, and an Andean Condor. But beyond even without the animals, the zoo would merit a visit. The Beaux-Arts buildings, historic gates, and Italian fountain together with the impeccable landscape contribute to one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the city.

Why You Should Go

More Americans visit zoos than every major sporting event combined. Half of all Americans will visit a zoo in any given year. But the Bronx Zoo is special. The zoo is the largest property managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (which also manages New York's other zoos and the aquarium). The WCS is a scientific institution dedicated to the preservation of wild, open space and the conservation of endangered species. As a result, exhibits focus on education and conservation. You--and any kids you have in tow--will leave the zoo having learning something new and recommitted to the conservation and protection of wild animals, large and small.