Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo

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Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo
Date opened 1954[1]
Location Barrio Miradero
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Coordinates 18°12′58″N 67°07′59″W / 18.216205°N 67.133085°W / 18.216205; -67.133085Coordinates: 18°12′58″N 67°07′59″W / 18.216205°N 67.133085°W / 18.216205; -67.133085
Land area 45 acres (18 ha)[2]
No. of species 75[3]
Website National Parks website

Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo (sometimes called Mayaguez Zoo) is a 45-acre (18 ha) zoo located in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. It is the only zoo on the island. It is named in honor of Juan A. Rivero, its first director. It has an extensive collection of animals from all continents, as well as new facilities.


The zoo was originally opened in 1954, when legislator Benjamin Cole authored the law that created the zoo.[citation needed] Starting in 2003 the zoo went through a major upgrade with the addition of the aviary, arthropodary and a butterfly exhibition.[3]

On March 2008 the zoo acquired two new giraffes and two desert warthogs to augment the African collection. The animals were brought from Ohio and Louisiana.[4] The recent economic downturn related to the government debt crisis in Puerto Rico has led to issues with zoo maintenance and animal care.[5]

Caimans at the caiman exhibit.

Conservation programs[edit]

Committed to animal welfare, especially those facing extinction, the zoo has several conservations programs for the following species:


Red-legged thrush at Juan A. Rivero Zoo
  • Recreational areas
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Museum
  • Aviary
  • Mammal, birds, reptile and amphibian exhibits
  • Arthropodary

Adoption program[edit]

In an effort to promote conservation, the Dr. Rivero Zoo has started an adoption program in which citizens can "adopt" one of the zoo's animals, and donate to contribute in conservation efforts.


  1. ^ "Zoological". pr.gov. Government of Puerto Rico. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Mayaguez Zoo Near Cabo Rojo- Puerto Rico's Largest". puertorico.com. NewMedia Holdings, Inc. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Mari, Brenda A. (March 25, 2005). "Something Sweet Like Mango in the Air: A Primer on Mayagüez". Puerto Rico Herald. Puerto Rico. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ Leon Alvarado, Gary E. (March 25, 2008). "Singulares advenedizos". elnuevodia.com. El Nuevo Dia. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Coto, Danica (July 17, 2017). "Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island's only zoo". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 

External links[edit]