Staten Island Zoo
Ranked by Wall Street Journal as the best small zoo in New York City, Staten Island Zoo is home to an astonishing 350 different species including a gorgeous pair of the world’s rarest cats: Valeri and Kolya, Amur leopard brothers! Mobs of meerkats, frolicking fossas, and precocious red pandas - your favorites are all here, but let’s not forget how it all started!
The eight-acre Staten Island Zoo long ago garnered a rather strange claim to fame: it was the first zoo ever to assemble an exhibit of all 32 varieties of rattlesnakes known to occur in the United States. By the 1960s, the zoo maintained the complete rattlesnake collection in the world with 39 varieties on display!
Boasting an impressive menagerie of fish and reptiles, rattlesnakes are still a specialty. Wander into “Fear Zone” if you dare, a wonderful petting zoo encouraging meaningful interaction with more docile warm-blooded and furry animal residents – a friendly and knowledgeable staff encourages and promotes an entertaining as well as educational visit. Perhaps the zoo’s most famous resident is Staten Island Chuck, the official Ground Hog Day forecaster for New York City. The fine horses ridden by Parks Department Enforcement Officers while patrolling the parks and woods of Staten Island also call the Zoo home. So grab your group and hop a ferry for a fantastic “zoo venture” at the Staten Island Zoo!