Our next stop in our quest to redeem most memberships offered by the NYC ID was the furthest destination away from Brooklyn: The Bronx Zoo. I had been here several times throughout the past five years. I remember cherishing some great Wednesdays, when my work schedule was still flexible and I could take advantage of the free weekday the Zoo offered. Those times are over in the foreseeable future and therefore it was a good idea to come here on a Saturday. Our membership includes not only the Bronx Zoo but all other Zoos in the boroughs plus the NY Aquarium in Coney Island (which I happened to visit in 2011).
The Bronx Zoo is the biggest of the zoos in all five boroughs. It is also known for the Wildlife Conservation Society and has some pretty neat programs, which run throughout the world. I wasn’t aware of how it’s funded and what projects exactly it is involved in, but after being a part of the Ivory Crush in Times Square back in June, my interest in the area of wildlife preservation has certainly increased.
On this particular day in October, the pumpkins were out and children were determined to follow the snack trail. Almost at the end of our visit we found some containers that had free treats in them and we also saw a long line in front of the Haunted House. It was right before Halloween, so there were quite a few activities going on, such as face painting, finding zombies in the corn fields and other stuff.
Since we had already ditched the $20 entrance fee, we decided to participate in a few extras (which cost $5 per visit) and our first one was the Gorilla Forest. Here we watched a short movie from the 1970ies (or 80ies?) on the history of gorillas, their persecution nowadays, and the probable effects till now (all of which have seemed to come true, regretfully). My friend thought it would be fun to climb into the foot and hand prints of a gorilla, so we had a good time photographing our body parts in the metal prints right outside the forest. Overall, I am glad I got to experience this part of the zoo since I hadn’t seen it on my previous visits.
We then continued to the grizzly bears and mountain tigers, which haven’t changed much in the past few years. Usually zoos make me feel super uncomfortable and almost claustrophobic, especially when I see the tiny cages the animals have to live in. This one is fine, though, and I think the keepers really care for the animals. The tigers, for example, have a few mind-enhancing tools they can work on every day.
At the very end of our excursion, we got to take the monorail. It led past a few species and was a great way to end our overview of the Bronx Zoo. I can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer again, and to see the other part of the zoo we didn’t get to see on this trip.
Back in June, I already go to visit the Prospect Park Zoo. During a lovely day, I was climbing around some plastic leaves on a pond and trying to be a prairie dog. I guess I will have the chance to visit it soon again thanks to the free membership!