Central Park Zoo

On Sunday, we visited the Central Park Zoo in New York City.

This was our second visit in last one year and the tickets were “paid for.” Reason: Last year, during our first visit, the zoo was unexpectedly closed due to an explosion nearby. It was very unfortunate that a teenager tourist lost his foot in the blast. The visitors who’d purchased the tickets were given complimentary one-year-valid tickets since most of us couldn’t see all of the attractions. I remember we were on our way to watch a 4D movie when the accidental blast led the zoo authorities to initiate an early shutdown.

Since the complimentary tickets were to expire in July this year, the last Sunday had to be the day.

The Central Park Zoo began as a menagerie in the post mid-19th century; the place has since seen several modifications, making it the modern zoological garden, now home to an indoor rain-forest.

You enter the zoo walking with a sizable crowd, and disappear down the trellised walkway. It may look like a conflict zone if you believed the fear-mongering some, but multiculturalism thrives and works toward a peaceful co-existence. The vine-clad purity, breath of fresh green; the brick trimmed with granite.

Since we missed the 4D movie last time, we began this tour with a movie: Ice Age – No time for Nuts.

How a saber-toothed squirrel on a chase after his acorn, which a time machine dispatches into different time periods, makes for a fun viewing experience.

Ready with our 4D glasses – our son thoroughly enjoyed the film.

We avoid fast food but have to make do with it when options are scarce. The monopoly of a lone restaurant in the zoo can quietly drain your wallet: $14 for a cheeseburger. I ate half of my burger in disapproval. The street vendor right outside the zoo would charge more or less the same, charging $3 for a 700 ml water bottle, for example; in other places, the same bottle costs $1.50. Uniformity in food prices kicks competition out. But, french fries tasted better after a while.

Right outside Tisch Children’s Zoo which was to be our next stop, this brilliant musician played Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round on his saxophone.

At Children’s Zoo, waiting to feed the goats

Alpaca, which resembles Llama, is a domesticated species of South American camelid.

Feeding the Alpaca. (Look out – Alpacas can spit.)

Spider web play area

White-naped Crane – needs shallow wetlands and grassy marshes to forage, nest, and raise their chicks. 70% of these cranes breed in Mongolia which provides perfect habitats.

Ducks’ feeding time

Baby Tortoise with egg as shell

Cavies come from the same family as guinea pigs. A family of rodents native to South America.

Intelligence garden (in the Temperate zone) is an idea borrowed from a Chinese emperor who believed that the best way to develop intelligence was to observe animals in their natural state. 

Where next?

Walking toward the Tropic zone. Glass-roofed pergolas add to the beauty.

A grizzly bear stands 3 to 4 feet tall on all fours, but can reach 6 to 7 feet tall when standing up straight.

The bear’s private pool

California Sea Lion can dive hundreds of feet deep and stay underwater for up to 10 minutes.

Flora that lends beauty…

It was zero degree Fahrenheit…descending from the pass were the marks of the Snow Leopard; they can venture as high as 19,000 feet. Watch its eyes at your own risk.

Red panda – found in the Himalayan foothills, this flame-colored animal shares both territory and a name with the giant panda, but not genetics. Red panda is actually related to Raccoon.

The Victoria-crowned pigeon is a large, bluish-grey pigeon; has elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast, and red irises.

Blue-headed Macaw Parrot. Pointed tail, large bill.

Amazon Tree Boa is non-venomous, found in South America.

Banded Mongoose – females give birth within a few days of each other and everyone cares for the babies.

Texas Tortoise – thrives in exposed dry scrub and grasslands; forages on cactuses.

Slender-tail Cloud Rat – one of the largest rats in the world. Guess its weight when fully grown? Around five pounds. Its penetrating look – as if it knows what we’re thinking.

Penguins in the Polar zone. Just chill.

22 thoughts on “Central Park Zoo

  1. Great that you finally got to visit the zoo with the complimentary ticket, and it looked like quite a day there. The Ice Age 4D movie looks so fun, and those glasses look very cool on you and fam 🙂 One time I went to the aquarium here in Melbourne and the place had a short Ice Age preview/film and it was in 4D with 4D glasses and all. Quite the experience and water or some kind of cool mist was even sprayed all over everyone.

    Agree with you food at these kinds if places can be overpriced. The chicken and burger looks delicious and I would have thought they were delicious had you not mentioned you weren’t particularly fond of the meal. I usually like bringing food along to the zoo or eat outside beforehand because as someone who liked penny-pinching (no shame in that!) I will not spend my money on overpriced food 😀

    Such a lovely array of animals from the turtles to cavies to grizzly bears. What a regal, magnificent looking blue pigeon. Never seen one blue in my life, and it has quite a lovely hairstyle to match its feathers too. Great fun shots all round. The kid looks like he is having a ball of a time and it must have been a day to remember 🙂

    • Your aquarium visit in Melbourne sounds interesting. Yes the theater sprays you with water, the seat shakes and vibrates – reminded us of a 4D movie we saw at Madame Tussaud’s, and another one in Universal Studios, Florida. But it was a first for our son and we were watching his awestruck reaction more than the movie. The 4D glasses were cool – I forgot to recycle mine but is now a souvenir 🙂

      Penny-pinching is fine (indeed no shame in it). After we bought the overpriced food we justified it by saying “Oh, our tickets were complimentary, so it’s fine.”

      All of us had a great time. The Victoria-crowned pigeon was a royal treat. Thanks Mabel for writing 🙂 Much appreciated.

      • Lovely to hear the 4D glasses are now a souvenir. Maybe your son will have a bit of fun with the glasses at home, and it will be a great reminder for him in the future of this outing 🙂

        Hehe. I think if you get something complimentary, you do deserve to splurge on something else. At least the fries weren’t half bad 😀 Hope to see more of your writing, Mahesh. Very glad we connected 🙂

  2. yes- they price gouge (is that the right word ?) – at some laces here too –
    but when you need food – what can we do? ha!
    enjoyed the zoo photos and the family pics….

  3. Thanks for the lovely tour of this beautiful zoo. I had a similar experience at the London zoo, but there was no 4D theatre there. I was excited to see and touch Giraffe for the first time. Zebras have always fascinated me with their beautiful stripes. So, we had a wonderful time there. This post brought back those memories.

    • Love your comment, bro😊 Beautifully written.

      I surely missed giraffes and zebras. Have never seen them in flesh and blood; so glad you could in London.

      Thanks for reading and writing. Much appreciated😊

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