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Queens Zoo

The Queens Zoo in located in Queens, New York. It has been operating since 1968 when it first opened as the Flushing Meadows Zoo.

The zoo is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who also operate Prospect Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium.



Learn while you play at the zoos three Conservation Quest stations. Migration Playground teaches kids about bird migrations and traveling songbirds while they swing on the monkey bars and zip down the spiral slide. An endangered species climbing-wall and an Invasive Species Station that features hands-on learning experiences and an introduction to wildlife conservation.



New York,

United States

Year Opened


Land Size

7.3ha (18acres)

Number of Species



Queens Zoo was opened on October 26,1968 and was originally known as the “Flushing Meadows Zoo. The ceremonial ribbon for the zoos opening was cut by Robert Moses.

Queens Zoo was constructed on the site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the zoo’s current aviary is a geodesic dome the was used during the 1964 World’s fair. The dome was designed by Buckminster Fuller of Synergetics, Inc.

In 1980 the Koch Administration and the then NY Zoological Society (Now Wildlife Conservation Society) signed a 50-year agreement after 15 years of on-again, off again conversations. The agreement saw the Central Park, Prospect Park and Queens Zoo’s come under the administration of the Society.

The society renovated 3 zoos Prospect Park, Central Park and Queens between 1998 and 1993. The renovation of Queens zoo cost $16million with the zoo re-opening to the public on June 25, 1992.

The Queens zoo is part funded through subsidies from the city of New of New York. This makes the zoo vulnerable if a fiscal crisis occurs. This situation was made apparent when the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg published his “doomsday budget” for the 2003 fiscal year beginning July 2003. At the time the city was trying to close a $3.8billion budget deficit and among other things it was proposed that the Prospect Park and Queens Zoos would have all city funding cut and reduced funding would be given to the New York Aquarium and Bronx Zoo. The 2 zoos set to lose all funding had the least attendance with approximately 200,000 visitors to each. The Bronx zoo on the other hand had an attendance of 2million and the Central Park Zoo 1 million.

For the next 2 months, the fate of the Prospect Park zoo and Queens zoo was in limbo while the city’s executive branch and the city council worked out a compromise budget. The zoo’s closures were the more visible of anticipated losses though. In Jun of that year Gifford Miller the City Councils speaker visited the zoo and then held a press conference to outline some consequences of the zoos closure. The city’s saving of $6 million for the two zoos closure would be offset by the facilities estimated expenditure of $8million for their decommission. If these estimates were right it would in the end be cheaper to continue to run the 2 zoos than to shut them down.

By the start of the July 2003 fiscal year the approved budget restored a reduced funding level to the affected WCS facilities. To keep the 2 zoos open though WCS closed 2 classrooms based instructional programs, laid off the supporting workers and doubled admission fees. Funding levels were returned to the WCS in the 2007 city budget thought the vulnerability of WCS to these shortfalls remains.

Main Exhibits

Discovery Trail

Discover the Americas as you walk the discovery trail. Along the way you will encounter species such as the coyote, American bison, Canadian lynx, pudu, Andean bear, peccaries, bald eagle, pronghorn and puma.


Originally built as the main assembly hall of the 1964 World’s fair this dome was reconstructed with a mesh roof allowing its use as an aviary housing the birds of the Western hemisphere.

Sea Lion Pool

These creatures are often sighted splashing about in the pool of their habitat delighting visitors.

Waterfowl Marsh

These waterbirds are found throughout the Americas. The area is also the home of fish and turtles.

Domestic Animals

Meet the biggest and best domestic animals at this farmyard area. Species housed include the Flemish giant rabbit, Texas longhorn cow and Jacobs four horned sheep.


Queens Zoo Website –

NYC Parks Website –

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