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6 Zany Zoos for Animal Antics (page 2)

6 Zany Zoos for Animal Antics

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Updated on Apr 2, 2014

Central Park Zoo, New York City, New York

Located in Central Park in New York City, this zoo is conveniently located and reasonably priced ($8.00 for adults and $3.00 for children). The Central Park Zoo unofficially began in the 1860s as a collection of donated animals. In 1988, the newly remodeled Central Park Zoo opened its doors, featuring a variety of habitats such as a steamy rain forest habitat and an icy Antarctic penguin habitat. The Central Park Zoo attracts nearly 1 million visitors each year and offers year-round educational programs, including a Wildlife Theater, toddler preschool programs, interactive family workshops, and after-school and weekend classes for school-age children. The zoo is committed to protecting and helping endangered species through the AZA. New York visitors and residents should check out the zoo’s 20th Birthday Celebration this August 9-10.

Montgomery Zoo, Montgomery, Alabama

The Montgomery Zoo is known in Alabama as the “perfect-sized zoo,” a zoo that can be visited in half a day. Conveniently located and reasonably priced ($8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children), this zoo features over 500 animals from five different continents. Visitors can casually stroll from “country to country” to view the animals in their natural, barrier-free habitats. The zoo offers a train ride through the 40-acre grounds, a reasonably priced restaurant, and a host of educational programs for children of all ages. A relatively new elephant habitat, complete with a baby elephant, wows visitors with elephants that dance in exchange for apples and oranges. The Mann Museum, on the zoo grounds, has more than 275 exhibits of wildlife, fish, reptiles, and insects. Zoo Weekend in April and ZooBoo in October (fun-filled nights of horror) attract thousands of visitors each year, and the Montgomery Zoo Summer Camp offers children behind-scenes tours and discussions with zookeepers, curators, volunteers, and zoo vets.

The National Zoo, Washington D.C.

A part of the Smithsonian Institution, this zoo is located in the heart of Washington D.C. The 163-acre zoological park is home to over 2000 animals, representing 400 different species. Best known for its research, educational programs and conservation efforts, the National Zoo was one of the first zoos to establish a scientific research program. The zoo provides children and families opportunities to learn about wildlife and its conservation and to enjoy the peacefulness of the gardens in the Rock Creek Park. This zoo also has a variety of helpful online resources for educators, parents, and students, including fact sheets and publications. Best of all, the National Zoo is free to the public, supported by generous donations and volunteer efforts. As Stacy DeBroff, nationally acclaimed parenting expert and founder and president of momcentral.com, says, “This zoo rocks. It’s an amazing zoo—appropriate for kids of all ages.”

San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California

Often referred to as “the world-famous San Diego Zoo,” this zoo is internationally recognized for its 4,000-plus rare and endangered animals, representing more than 800 species and subspecies. The zoo is located on 100 acres, not counting the Wild Animal Park, which has 1,800 acres of land, more than half of which has been set aside as protected native species habitat. The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park is also home to the Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES) research center. The zoo has a wide range of summer educational activities, programs, and events for adults and children, including Wild Animal Camp, Family Caravan Tour, Jumatano Roar & Snore Sleepover, and Fisher-Price® Play Weekend. The price of admission to the zoo is $34 for adults and $24 for children; 2-day admission is $40 for adults and $30 for children. Check the Web site for package deals for the zoo and the Wild Animal Park, as well as deals for nearby hotels.

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