The last time I was at the Bronx Zoo was about fifteen years ago. All I remember from that first visit was how large the zoo was and that it was kind of like when I went to Epcot in Disney World; I never got to see the whole thing. I decided I wanted to go back to experience it as an adult and to photograph the animals. I was also going with a bunch of friends and my gorgeous 1 ½ year nephew. I couldn’t wait to see what he thought of it. And of course, take his picture.
For starters, I don’t know how anyone with kids leaves their house. I knew it would be expensive to get in but this place is literally charging and arm and a leg. Or more specifically, you are being charged for: a gorilla, giraffe, and sea lion. It cost $30 for an adult all inclusive admission. What that means is that you pay up front instead of walking for two miles, getting to an animal exhibit, paying for that entrance, and then repeating the process over and over again. That didn’t seem to make any sense.
So I pay and go in. I know it will be a long day but hopeful it will be a good one. The day was actually quiet lovely but that was because of the people I was with.
Let me preface my statements below by saying I am glad I went back but that I will not being going again for some time or until some changes are made.
Here are my grievances:
- There is a lot of empty land; you do a lot of walking without seeing much.
- If you are going to charge me for every animal in the zoo then when I get to that exhibit I expect to see said animal. I am all for animals having a sanctuary from the public, especially those screaming, tantrum throwing children. Who I am kidding, at some points of that day I wish I had one, but there should be at least one animal per exhibit out. Instead for most of the day I felt like I was in that scene in Jurassic Park where they don’t see any of the animals and are wondering why. I was waiting for the giant T-Rex to bite my head off.
- Another grip is that for the animals I did get to see, they were hundred miles away (that might have been slightly closer) or behind glass. I realize this is largely a safety issue but none the less trying to show a 1 year old that a giraffe is “over there” doesn’t go over too big. For that matter, having to use my zoom to photograph him bothered me too.
- Why is the entry to every animal exhibit through an enclosure that is a fifteen times hotter than it is outside?
- Where are the real animals? If I wanted to see a mouse I would have ridden the subway. If I wanted to see a hamster I would have visited a fifth grade class. If I wanted to see a chinchilla I would have went to a store that sells fur coats. But the zoo saves you all of these stops. They have a mouse house and what seemed like five other buildings dedicated to small furry creatures with tales that I could not tell apart and did not want to get near.
- The only animals that you can see relatively up close and actually hear before you see them are the sea lions. I love sea lions and the barking noise they make. I always try to imitate them but I doubt I am any good. They remind me of the ones I saw off the pier in San Francisco. I also liked that they reminded me of a vacation. Finally, an animal the baby loved!
- And, lastly but most importantly they let the peacocks roam around like they aren’t the wild vicious man attacking animals they are!!! At first glance you think, oh how pretty. Look that one is making noise. Oh that way is showing its feathers. And then they attack! I am not sure what the punishment is for kicking a peacock but I almost found out. We were in the petting zoo, the part especially designated for the children, when it happened. It was at the end of our day and we were all beat. But we had fun petting and feeding the goats, even though I almost gagged to death when it touched me. As we were walking around I could see this one peacock had a bad attitude and started lunging at my nephew. Just as fast as I could grab him, that monster pecked his hand. Then came the screaming from the baby and myself. I could have killed that thing. But I was ushered out of that area. Luckily the baby was fine but I was on fire.
It would figure this was the one animal I didn’t pay to see. I guess you really do get what you pay for.
For information on the zoo: http://www.bronxzoo.com/