Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo, located at 300 Parkside Ave in Buffalo, New York, is the seventh oldest zoo in the United States. Each year, the Buffalo Zoo welcomes approximately 400,000 visitors and is the second largest tourist attraction in Western New York, second only to Niagara Falls. Located on 23.5 acres (9.5 ha) of Buffalo’s Delaware Park, the zoo exhibits a diverse collection of wild and exotic animals and more than 320 plants. The zoo is open year-round.
The zoo traces its history to the mid-19th century when Jacob E. Bergtold, a Buffalo furrier, presented a pair of deer to the city of Buffalo. To provide the deer with room to graze, Elam R. Jewett, the publisher of the Buffalo Daily Journal, offered to house the deer on his estate. Simultaneously, plans were being made for the municipal North Park (today’s Delaware Park), and Mayor William F. Rogers hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to include a zoo in the park’s design. Five years after, the deer were donated, more animals were added to the collection, and the first permanent building was erected, signifying the establishment of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens in 1875.
The zoo underwent a large expansion during the Great Depression and became a significant work site for the Works Progress Administration. The Buffalo Zoo Entrance Court at Parkside Avenue and Amherst Street were among the new structures. It was designed by African-American architect John Edmonston Brent (son of architect Calvin Brent) and built-in 1935–1938. The Buffalo Zoo Entrance Court was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Bed Bug Exterminator Buffalo
Throughout the next several decades, more exhibits and facilities were added, including the Reptile House (1942), Children’s Zoo (1965), Giraffe House and Veterinary Hospital (1967), and The Gorilla Habitat Building (1981). The zoo’s mission also began to change during the 1980s and 1990s under the direction of Minot Ortolani, as it began reducing the number of animals in its collection to focus on breeding endangered species that might not otherwise have a chance at survival. In addition to its conservation efforts, the zoo emphasized education to teach visitors about the animals and their natural habitats. From 2000 – 2017 the President/CEO of the zoo was Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, with Norah B. Fletchall succeeding her in 2017.
In 2002, a 15-year Master Plan was unveiled to transform the zoo. New visitor amenities and naturalistic habitats were planned, including the Asian River and Highlands Zone, African Watering Hole, Arctic Edge, and the Wonders of Water Children’s Zoo. Phase One of the Master Plan has resulted in opening the Vanishing Animals exhibit, EcoStation, Otter Creek, and Sea Lion Cove. The completion of Phase One was marked by September 10, 2008, the opening of the South American Rainforest. This four-season attraction features a two-story waterfall, dozens of colorful free-flighted birds, and a variety of other rainforest species. These include ocelots, blue poison dart frogs, and many other animals you can find in the rainforest. In the fall of 2015, the $14 million Arctic Edge opened to the public featuring Arctic wolves, bald eagles, Eurasian lynx, and polar bears. In 2016 the Arctic wolves were replaced by Arctic foxes which fit the exhibit size better than the wolves. Arctic Edge is currently home to two polar bears, Anana and Luna. Luna is the offspring of Anana and Nanuq; Nanuq now resides at the Columbus Zoo.
Address: 300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY
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