The Bronx Zoo is the flagship of the Wildlife Conservation Society's collection of urban wildlife parks comprising 265 acres of parkland, wildlife habitat and attractions. It is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within the Bronx Park. It is the biggest urban zoo in the United States through which the Bronx River flows.
The zoo is managed by the WCS and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Its size and impressive exhibits make it very difficult to see everything in one visit, but it is a beautiful destination for animal lovers in the state of New York and amusingly easy to access by cab or bus from Manhattan.
Originally called the Bronx Zoological Park and the Bronx Zoological Gardens, the zoo was launched on November 8, 1899 and showcased 840 animals in 20 exhibits. William Temple Hornaday was appointed as the first zoo director while Heins and La Farge designed the original permanent structures that were grouped around the imposing circular sea lion pool.
Fordham University owned most of the land which became the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden. The university sold it to the City of New York for only $1,000 under the condition that the lands be utilized for a zoo and garden; this was to make sure a natural buffer was created between the school grounds and the city.
At present, the zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals of 650 species many of which are threatened or endangered. Some of the exhibits at the zoo, like the World of Reptiles and the World of Birds, are arranged under taxonomy, while others, such as the Wild Asia and African Plains, are arranged geographically.
Throughout its vast natural landscape, visitors will be delighted to see that the zoo is well-maintained and clean and that the animals are treated very well. The Wildlife Conservation Society does its best to educate, and people who come to the zoo will discover the exhibits engaging and very informative.