Buttonwood Park Zoo

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Buttonwood Park Zoo
The entrance to the Buttonwood Park Zoo
Date opened 1894;[1] August 12, 2000 (renovated)
Location New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
Coordinates 41°37′48″N 70°57′10″W / 41.62996°N 70.95273°W / 41.62996; -70.95273Coordinates: 41°37′48″N 70°57′10″W / 41.62996°N 70.95273°W / 41.62996; -70.95273
Number of animals 250+[2]
Annual visitors 222,000[1]
Memberships AZA[3]
Website www.bpzoo.org

The Buttonwood Park Zoo, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, is a ten-acre zoo located in the center of Buttonwood Park. It is owned and operated by the City of New Bedford, with the support of the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society.

The zoo opened in 1894 and reopened in 2000 after major renovations.[4] It is home to a variety of North American wildlife and it supports many conservation programs, such as the Cape Cod Stranding Network.

In 2012, Buttonwood Park Zoo was named as one of the "Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants" by the animal rights organization In Defense of Animals. [5] [6]


The Redhead Ducks exhibit

The Buttonwood Park Zoo is the oldest continually operating zoo in Massachusetts.[citation needed]

In 1969, the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society (BPZS), a private, nonprofit corporation, was founded to manage the membership program, run concessions, produce zoo events, and coordinate fundraising. The City of New Bedford supplies one-third of the money needed to operate the zoo, and the remainder is covered by concessions income and contributions from the BPZS.[7]

By the 1990s, the zoo was in deplorable condition and in need of renovation. The zoo closed in late 1995 for renovations. The zoo re-opened in August, 2000.[4]

Buttonwood Park Zoo was called "one of the finest small zoos in the United States" by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in 2003.[1]


The two Asian elephants, Ruth and Emily, during their feedtime.

The zoo houses over 200 animal species from around the world. Exhibits feature animals from the barnyard to animals from the wild.[8]

The exhibits are categorized into five main areas:


Buttonwood Park Zoo features the Wildlife Education Center, an educational building in the heart of the zoo. It contains two classrooms host the zoo's educational programs and business and private meetings.

Other features[edit]

The zoo also has a North Woods Gift Store (gift shop) and a Bear's Den Cafe (restaurant). These facilities are open daily.[9]


Annual events at the zoo include Boo at the Zoo, Holiday Lights, Cabin Fever Week, and Spring Fling Week.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "History and Facts". bpzoo.org. Buttonwood Park Zoo. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "About the Zoo". bpzoo.org. Buttonwood Park Zoo. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Zoo History & Facts". Buttonwood Park Zoo. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Buttonwood among worst elephant zoos". WPRI.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  6. ^ "The 2011 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants". idausa.org. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Zoo Society". bpzoo.org. Buttonwood Park Zoo. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "About the Zoo". Buttonwood Park Zoo. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.wegoplaces.com/Attraction_55004.aspx

External links[edit]