The Staten Island Zoo is a small, well organized zoo that will take you from the hustle and bustle of the city to a suburban park and playground with a plenty of animal exhibits to keep the entire family happy.

Though small, this is a great zoo for children. The animals are well cared for and healthy, and the zoo’s lively and entertaining pair of leopards keep visitors of all ages mesmerized. Plus, children love the petting zoo with the usual array of farm animals including sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, calves, and more. Food pellets are available for purchase to feed the animals as well.

With plenty of green space, mature shady trees, and flowers, the Staten Island Zoo has a number of areas where families can sit back and relax. Picnic areas allow you to avoid expensive snack bar meals, while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful landscaping in the park. A great way to turn the zoo into a full day trip is to take the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan.

When it opened in 1936, the Staten Island Zoo was first U.S. zoo to be devoted to an educational mission. It was also the first in the American zoo to have a full time woman veterinarian on staff when it hired Dr. Patricia O Connor years later in 1942.

Since the very first day it opened its doors, the Staten Island Zoo has been synonymous with snakes, due to former Curator of Reptiles and Director Carl Frederick Kauffeld who focused on the zoo’s reptiles and amphibians. In fact, the Staten Island Zoo was also the first zoo anywhere to exhibit all the 32 varieties of rattlesnakes known to occur in the United States.

The zoo had its first major renovation in 1969 when a Children’s Center was constructed. In the 1980’s the zoo spent over $16 million to upgrade, modernize and transform almost every animal exhibit. Educational staff was expanded and curricula were created to educate zoo visitors. Today’s visitors can enjoy seeing how animals live and interact in the wild; while constructions of animal exhibits continue to grow in line with zoo membership and visits.

In additional to the zoo’s special programs like Animal Photography, Penguin Meetup, Forensic Entomology, Monkey Monkey Music, and Animal Training Exhibitions; the following events are offered throughout the year:

Conservation Celebration – Party for the Planet to explore the many ways that to help the environment through education demonstrations, live music, and crafts.

Wild About Birds – Meet birds from every part of the world including 200 individual birds representing over 80 different species, over 40 free-roaming peafowl, pheasants, quail, and guinea fowl.

The Mighty Rainforest – An in-depth exploration of the most bio-diverse place on the planet through education exploration stations, eco-crafts, and discover ways to help our rainforests.

Atka the Wolf visits the Zoo – A one-hour presentations about wolf education, conservation and the future of wolves in the United States featuring Atka the wolf and wolf crafts and activities.

Gyotaku – Traditional method of Japanese fish printing used by fishermen to record their catches.
Freshly caught specimens will be used to discuss the types of fish that can be found in local waters whether it be the Hudson River or the Long Island.

ZooQuest! – Zoo wide scavenger hunt, trivia and activity game with prizes

Dinosaurs and Fossils – Dinosaur enthusiast, Richie Mirissis — using fossil evidence — will take you back several million years when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Fossil digs and rubbings as well as a display of
authentic relics will be available.

Serpent Day – See the snakes of the zoo outside of their glass tanks with keeper talks and presentations of exhibit snakes, snake feedings and opportunities to touch these beautiful creatures.