5/23/10

Central Park Zoo


Ever since my first visit to an urban zoo in Manila many years ago, I've always felt the urge to see more wildlife - that is, in their natural habitat. That's how I envision wildlife encounter should be. However, my African safari still remains elusive so I had to contend myself with seeing animals within the confines of protective barriers. I know a lot of animal-rights advocates deplore zoos as nothing more than prisons, but my take on this issue is that as long as animals are well cared for in a properly maintained environment, then a zoo is a great place to introduce people to animals and educate everyone on the ongoing drive to protect them - especially the endangered ones.


Right in the middle of Manhattan's concrete jungle is Central Park Zoo, located close to the southeast corner of Central Park. While this zoo was part of the setting in the animated film Madagascar five years ago, don't even start looking for Alex and Marty as there's no lion and zebra living here. But they sure do have penguins (I'm not sure though if they've actually attempted escaping from their pampered lives). Animals here may not be as many as those in the more expansive Bronx Zoo but that's mainly the charm of this small zoo. It's so manageable it can be visited in a couple of hours and so easy on anyone's feet, even for those not wearing sneakers.

Currently exhibiting some 150 species from all over the planet, the zoo allows a visit to polar, temperate and tropical environments where these animals naturally thrive. So one gets to see a pair of polar bears from Antarctica, red pandas from the Himalayas, snow monkeys from Japan and a multitude of birds from equatorial countries. For kids, it's not just the scheduled feeding sessions of penguins, sea lions and seals that are appealing but also the hands-on encounters with sheep, goats and alpacas at the barnyard in the adjacent Tisch Children's Zoo.


The endearing and enduring quality of the Central Park Zoo - just like its big brother in the Bronx - is brought on largely by the efficient management of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Since its founding in 1895, the New York-based WCS has been on the forefront of saving "wildlife and wild places across the globe". Which means, the Central Park Zoo, and the four others it manages in New York City, is just collectively its face to the outside world on what it does in the wilderness. Conservation and protection of wildlife and wild places is certainly an ongoing battle these days and it helps for those of us in a wishful Safari mood to understand this better - even while looking at animals behind protective barriers.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

15 comments:

  1. ganda naman....My ganyang zoo parin pala sa pinas... nice...

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  2. I think that the photo with the boy (stolen shot) will make it to international publications. I am yet to check the zoo in the UAE. Apparently, it's more than an hour drive from the city + I need a speedboat ride to reach there.

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  3. who would not be amazed with such well-maintained crispy clean animal haven? i could only wish amusement parks here in manila would be the same.

    that naughty last shot made me smile. =)

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  4. naalala ko ang Manila Ocean park---parang similar yung me hagdan tapos me mga halaman sa paligid----ang cool ng last picture,......winner!!!!!hehe

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  5. Napa-wow ako sa penguin. Would definitely want to see one before I die. Penguin sa Antarctica. Ü

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  6. madagascar movie:)

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  7. sana ganyan din dito sa pinas. ahihihi panalo ang last pic! :P

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  8. Sa Central Park pala yan? How come I never saw it? I should look for it when I am around. Mukhang hindi mabaho ang dating, unlike in other zoos.

    Okay ang final picture ah, very acrobatic!

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  9. caught in the act daw ung last image - inantay mo talaga eh. :)

    i never knew there was a zoo inside the park, how clever. like a one stop shop for tourists. wish i could go for another visit to ny someday.

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  10. haha great catch in the act! it must be quite refreshing to have some nature in the middle of the buzz of manhattan. & the polar bear - that's something i haven't seen in a zoo before... does the temp have to be kept really low for the bear?

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  11. LOL at the last pic. hahaha.

    I wish Manila Zoo is like this. clean and alive.

    nice blog!

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  12. Stunning images! Yeah, it reminded me of the interior landscaping of Manila Ocean Park.

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  13. i was laughing very hard at that caught in the act pic and at photocache's comment!

    so nice a place to visit. the stairs look like the ones in Manila's Ocean Park. i love the seals.

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  14. wow what a nice zoo there ya! the zoo here in frankfurt is small >< but guess i would visit after the final :)

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  15. I like the last picture hahaha, nice capture! Last week I even went to the zoo here but I haven't posted my pictures yet hehehe

    Love all the pics, so sharp.

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