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Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn

#5 of 14 in Outdoors in Brooklyn
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
The Prospect Park Zoo is a 12-acre (4.9 ha) zoo located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City. As of 2016, the zoo houses 864 animals representing about 176 species, and as of 2007, it averages 300,000 visitors annually. The Prospect Park Zoo is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In conjunction with the Prospect Park Zoo's operations, the WCS offers children's educational programs, is engaged in restoration of endangered species populations, runs a wildlife theater, and reaches out to the local community through volunteer programs.

Its precursor, the Menagerie, opened in 1890. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on July 3, 1935, and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks, playgrounds and zoos initiated in 1934 by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. It was built, in large part, through Civil Works Administration and Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and funding.
After 53 years of operation as a city zoo run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Prospect Park Zoo, also colloquially known as "Brooklyn Zoo", closed in June 1988 for reconstruction. The closure signaled the start of a five-year, $37 million renovation program that, save for the exteriors of the 1930s-era buildings, completely replaced the zoo. It was rededicated on October 5, 1993, as the Prospect Park Wildlife Conservation Center, as part of a system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the WCS, all of which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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Prospect Park Zoo reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
210 reviews
  • I love how this zoo felt like it was part of the park. Whereas most zoos create an atmosphere of a little bubble in its own world, Prospect Park Zoo felt like...well, Prospect Park! It was as though.....  more »
  • Small zoo even smaller now with COVID as some of the exhibits were closed. During COVID they are very good with social distancing. They have floor markers, direction signs for one-way traffic and...  more »
  • I was pleasantly surprised by this place. It's quaint and clean with a surprising amount of walkways and exhibits. We had the place to ourselves for awhile before families arrived. We stayed till 1130 to watch the Seal feeding. What a nice morning for $9+ for an adult. I noticed they had a room for private parties for little ones too. That's a neat idea.
  • Small to medium sized zoo near Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Animal highlights include duck pond and barnyard, where you can exchange quarters for food pellets and feed sheep, goats, turtles, and ducks. Our other favorites are the baboons, Pallas cat, the foxes, bats, lady birds, aviary, monkeys, otters, dingos, and red pandas. Feeding time with the sea lions is fun. Peacocks wander around. Discovery center is kid friendly. The food options here and in Queens and Staten Island are standard, which is to say limited, and that element is in sorest need of new vendor contracts. We’ve been here a zillion times and it’s always fun, though.

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