Logo of Queens Zoo, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society
Spectacled bear in naturalistic enclosure
|Date opened||October 26, 1968
(as Flushing Meadow Zoo)
June 25, 1992
(as Queens Zoo)
|Location||Queens, New York City, New York, USA|
|Land area||18 acres (7.3 ha)|
|Number of species||75+|
|Public transit access||
The Queens Zoo is a 18-acre (7.3 ha) zoo located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Constructed on the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair and opened in 1968, the zoo is the newest of the Wildlife Conservation Society zoos, and the first to be designed from the start as a cageless zoo. Robert Moses turned the first shovel full of earth for the new construction on August 20, 1966, and cut the ceremonial ribbon to the new 18-acre (7.3 ha) "Flushing Meadows Zoo" a bit more than two years later on October 26, 1968.
The zoo's aviary is a geodesic dome designed by Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc. and used during the 1964 Fair. The dome was originally designed as the fair's major indoor assembly hall, with no indoor supports blocking anyone's view, and repurposed for the 1965 season as a tribute to Winston Churchill after he died in 1964. The 175-foot (53 m) diameter dome was one of the largest single-layer structures of its time. It was dismantled and stored after the fair, and was later reassembled in its current location with a mesh netting covering instead of the solid tent of the original dome.
The zoo was closed in 1988, and reopened in 1992 after a four-year, $16 million renovation, redesign, and reconceptualization.
The zoo is home to more than 75 species that are native to the Americas. It is the only one of five zoos in New York City that exhibits spectacled bears. The zoo is also home to pumas, California sea lions, coyotes, snowy owls, Canada lynx, pudú, thick-billed parrots, American alligators, Roosevelt elk, American bison, Trumpeter swans, pronghorn, sandhill crane, bald eagle, Chacoan peccarys, an aviary, and a petting zoo with a variety of domestic animals.
- Asbury, Edith Evans (October 27, 1968). "Moses Helps to Open First Queens Zoo". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "About the City Zoos". nyzoosandaquarium.com. Wildlife Conservation Society. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Animals and Exhibits". queenszoo.com. Wildlife Conservation Society. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Schumach, Murray (May 21, 2012). "Moses Gets Down to Earth in Opening World's Fair Site for Zoo". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
- "World's Fair Building / Churchill Tribute". westland.net. Jeffrey Stanton. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Gray, Christopher (January 3, 1993). singlees-the-queens-aviary-a-great-outside-interior-space.html "Streetscapes: The Queens Aviary; A Great Outside Interior Space". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Lyall, Sarah (October 22, 1993). "Zoo Story: A Q.-and-A. Stroll in Queens". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- "Zoo Map". queenszoo.com. Wildlife Conservation Society. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
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