Join our zoo community

Seneca Park Zoo Seneca Park Zoo Review 3/7/2016

Discussion in 'United States' started by CuseZoofan, 8 Mar 2016.

  1. CuseZoofan

    CuseZoofan Well-Known Member

    29 Aug 2011
    Kirkville, NY, USA
    My family and I recently visited the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, it was our first visit since just before the Step Into Africa was finished, the lions were not yet displayed. It was also my daughters first visit and she seemed to enjoy it quite well. As there is already a full review in a previous post I will just hit on some things from this trip that were new to me and a general overview of every thing else.

    We started out the day by heading to the back of the zoo first to the new Step into Africa (new to us). My first opinion was what a great job they did as you get a great overview of the whole area when heading to the overlook and down the stairs. The Lion exhibit is very nice even if they don't have a ton of hiding spots, although they did not really seem to mind the people watching them, one of the females even was playing on the glass with the guests who stopped by. I wanted to check out the bus viewing area but it apparently is closed in the off season. The Baboons were out today as well due to the warm weather and were having a good time in the unseasonable weather. Also new since my last visit was the addition of two new Elephants, it was nice to see the herd increased but it made the overall exhibit appear somewhat smaller than I remembered. We even got to see the keepers give one of the elephants a bath which my daughter watched very closely and enjoyed.

    The Rocky coasts are looks very nice still and the Sea Lions were particularly lively swimming about and playing on the rocks. Unfortunately the lone Polar Bear was no where to be seen. I still prefer my hometown Zoo (Rosamond Gifford) Penguin Exhibit only because it is much larger but the SPZ exhibit is still nice.

    The Middle exhibits were average, nothing bad but nothing great with the Lynx having a nice home in the former Cougar exhibit and it seems to fit the lynx better size wise. We also were able to see the former Buffalo Zoo Gray Wolves, which also had large green tarps up on most of the fence most likely to help them adjust to the new environment.

    The Eco Station was still very nice and we even saw the Otter for what seems like the first time swimming. The Madagascar tree boas and Dumeril's Ground Boas were off exhibit at this time. Other animals included Standings Day Gecko, Giant Day Gecko, Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec Lake Sturgeon and Burmese Pythons. The ZOT Zone also has seen better days and could be due for an update or complete overhaul. I also noticed the former Wallaby yard is no more.

    The Final area was the Main Zoo Building which as many know is slated for renovation. The Southern White Rhino was out and seemed to be content with his surroundings, Its still hard for me to think that the exhibit was once home to the African Elephants. The building had the most changes since my last trip, the Ring Tailed Lemurs were moved into the old Ocelot exhibit along with a Radiated Tortoise. Turkey Vultures were in the old Lemur Exhibit. The zoo also no longer has White Handed Gibbons. Also on the Primate Side were the Bornean Orangutans and the Spider Monkeys. The opposite side still has the mixed species exhibit of Golden Lion Tamarins, Red Rumped Agoutis, Green Iguana and Red Footed Tortoise. King Vultures and a second Tamarin exhibit round out the large cages. There also seemed to be less birds in the aviary section than in past trips, possibly due to the future changes.

    All in all it was a nice trip and all the animals seemed happy even in the older building which for the most part does a good job of making the animals a good home that is as realistic as it can be. The Africa section is also a great addition and hopefully the rest of the zoo can be just as good after all is said and done. Can't wait to go back when all is finished.
  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2008
    California, USA
  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    1 Dec 2007
    Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    Thanks for the review. The main zoo building was built in 1931 and will almost certainly be demolished in the near future. The zoo's AZA accreditation expires in 2018 and officials have been told that accreditation could be in jeopardy if the main building is still standing as it is badly outdated. A new Tropical House with gorillas, orangutans and lemurs is the main focus of the Master Plan although fund-raising will have to be extensive. Lastly, I've always been intrigued by the zoo's layout as visitors have to walk from one end to the other, then turn around and go all the way back to the start again!