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Central Park Zoo Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by GraysonDP, 20 Dec 2016.

  1. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

    24 May 2015
    Washington DC
    Central Park Zoo

    Date of Visit: May 30, 2014

    The Central Park Zoo is a very small zoo in the middle of Manhatten. Its only megafauna are sea lions, penguins, macaques, snow leopards and now grizzly bears. When I visited, I almost felt like it was a trailer/preview of the Bronx Zoo- giving a taste for the types of exhibits WCS creates and encouraging visitors to visit the bigger, better zoo out in the Bronx. Most of the exhibits are average to very good but there isn’t enough here to entice visitors to stay long.

    The Best

    Snow Leopard Exhibit- A large immersive and naturalistic habitat for the elusive cats who were nowhere to be found on my visit. I still say Himalayan Highlands at the Bronx Zoo is better but this is quite good as well. The amount of vegetation and hiding opportunities is admirable and trees are everywhere. Cliffs in the back allow the leopards to climb and the entire habitat is on a hill. A waterfall runs through the cliffs. This is the best the zoo has to offer and one of the best snow leopard exhibits around.

    Macaques- A rocky exhibit surrounded by water on three sides. It could be bigger but is quite nice and naturalistic.

    Polar Circle-Huge colonies of Arctic penguins live in an all-indoor exhibit viewed behind glass. The rockwork is average but this exhibit holds up quite well. Puffins live in a similar all-indoor exhibit nearby. While on my visit the former polar bear exhibit was closed but now has grizzly bears. However, the habitat looked like it was loaded with mock-rock.


    Tropics Zone- A smallish average rainforest building. The space for the rainforest birds and sloths is admirable and is fairly lush but side habitats for lemurs and tamarins are a bit on the small size. Decent terrariums host poison dart frogs and boas.

    Sea Lion- Typical sea lion pool found at the middle of the zoo that doesn’t really stand out but is more modern and better than several outdated ones around the country.

    Temperate Territory- Nondescript habitats for red pandas, mouse deer, muntjacs and cranes.

    Tisch Children’s Zoo- Fairly nice children’s zoo but without exotic animals.
  2. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

    19 Apr 2015
    I would say the sea lion exhibit is way below average. I hate this type of sea lion pool small circular exhibit. It bothers me so much, I feel like it must be so stressful for the animals and whatnot. They are always jumping out onto the edge overlooking the moat and bobbing their heads back and forth, like maybe they are trying to escape. I might be completely wrong, I have not done a lot of research into sea lion behavior, but in my opinion these types of sea lion exhibits are not good. Overall though, I like the central park zoo.
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2008
    California, USA
    When I visited this zoo in 2002 they had a North American river otter exhibit in the temperate area. Is this where the snow leopard exhibit is now?

    What species of puffin does the Central Park Zoo exhibit now?
  4. bigfoot410

    bigfoot410 Well-Known Member

    24 Jul 2014
    Smithtown, NY, USA
    Yes, where the snow leopards (and another bird exhibit) are now was where the river otter exhibit was originally. As for puffins, the zoo has Pacific and Atlantic puffins together.

    GraysonDP- I do love your reviews and have agreed so far with all of them. CPZ (and all the small WCS zoos) are like tapas or appetizers for the Bronx Zoo. The current Grizzly bear exhibit is better then the old polar bear exhibit (added more greenery), but still an average exhibit. The Children's Zoo also does have some exotic species (mainly maras, turtles and many exotic birds in the aviary). It is a very tiny zoo, I do wish they could utilize some of the other historic buildings on the property.
  5. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

    24 Jan 2016
    I'm not a fan of the Central Park exhibit either. Wild pinnipeds can display many negative behavioural responses to tourists, but I don't know of any research into this effect on zoo sealions. Some work has been carried out on seals, however, with the most recent reporting that harbour seals spend more time submerged at higher visitor densities. It's unclear whether this successfully mitigates stress.

    Thanks for all the reviews @GraysonDP.