No Butts About It, the Bronx Zoo Was a Trip!

Carole McFaddan

Once again another Welcome Week Event! And to top it all off, we capped the week with River Tubing in Farmington, a trip to Mystic, and a trip to the Bronx Zoo.

If you missed the sign ups for the weekend trips, you missed out on some pretty great things. Yes you’re all thinking, “I’ve been to the Bronx Zoo before” or if you haven’t you’re thoughts may be “I’ve been to the zoo near my hometown and they’re all the same! Who cares if I missed this trip?”

The trip to the Bronx was pretty great, personally I have only been to the San Diego Zoo and the San Francisco Zoo because I am from California and the Bronx was an entirely different experience. And what’s better than a school trip on lazy Sunday afternoon? You have fun, friends, food, and frolicking freshman all around!

Here’s the lowdown on the Bronx, it’s formally known as the New York Zoological Park and is the largest metropolitan zoos in the U.S. It’s also one of the first and few “open air” zoos in the country and houses over 4000 endangered and threatened species from all around the globe.

An “open air” zoo means that many of the animal habitats are on open terrain, with only fences separating them from other species and us, humans – for the more predacious animals, like lions, they have trenches between the exhibits. This open air presentation give the zoo the look and feel as if the animals are in their natural habitat, rather than having them encased and from various points it looks as it all the animals are sharing their habitats as though they would in real life (you can’t even see the fences!).

On the 265-acres that the Bronx River runs through, there is a lot to see in just one day and you’ll probably miss a lot on you’re first trip like I did. I started with “Jungle World” enriching my knowledge of the jungles and rainforests worldwide and learning about the depletion of them and the animal that inhabit them. Most of this depletion is due to first and second-hand human contact by way of deforestation and global warming, respectively. I then made my way through the African Plains and made sure to check out the lions and giraffes. While there I learned some pretty neat stuff, captive lions have adapted and modified their ROARS to sound like low roaring with a hint of hairball! This is because their true roar will reach over five miles to claim their territory, but being that they have trenches enclosing them in their zoo habitat and plenty of buildings in NYC these lions learned quickly that they do not want their roar to echo back at them!

On my way to meeting some Silver Back Gorillas and Flamingos (quite pink from all their shrimp eating, I must say!), I was able to see the Baboon Reserve which has some new editions to the family this year just like some of the other animals, like the sea lion and lemur families.

At three thirty, after a stop at the gift shop to look around at all the snazzy zoo apparel, gifts, and games and a glimpse at the end of the sea lion feeding, I made sure to race on over to the Aquatic Bird House and Sea Bird Aviary to see one of my friends and my favorites – the penguins – for their feeding. Although not as cool as the Madagascar penguins, these seven Galapagos Penguins in the Bronx were quite entertaining and active for their audience during their lunch hour.

My last stops were the Monkey House – an obvious hyperactive entertainment spot-, the World of Reptiles – slithery, slimy, and scaly-, and Bears to see the largest species of bear on earth – the polar bear.

Now if you look at a map of the zoo or went on this trip – this probably isn’t even half the stuff there! So drag some friends that have never been hop on the $14 MetroNorth to spend a day city and meet some furrier friends!