Prospect Park Zoo

Infobox zoo
zoo_name = Prospect Park Zoo

logo_caption = Logo of Prospect Zoo, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society
logo_width = 207px


location = 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA 11225, in Prospect Park
date_opened = 1890 (a menagerie); July 3, 1935 (city zoo);

cite web
url = http://www.prospectpark.org/history_nature/historic_places/h_zoo
title = Historic Places: Zoo
publisher = Prospect Park Alliance
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] October 5, 1993 (wildlife conservation center)
members = AZA
area = 12 acres (4.86 ha)
num_animals = 627 (2007)
num_species = 141 (2007)
coordinates = coord|40|39|56.783|N|73|57|51.703|W|type:landmark_scale:2500|display=inline,title
website = http://www.prospectparkzoo.com/

The Prospect Park Zoo is a twelve acre (4.86 ha) cite paper
author = Wildlife Conservation Society
title = Prospect Park Zoo (prospectparkzoo.com) Visitor Brochure
version = 200/603
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = Summer 2007
format = Offset color printing
accessdate = 2007-06-16
] zoo located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park,
Brooklyn, New York. Its precursor, the Menagerie, had opened in 1890. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on July 3, 1935

cite news
title = Smith Decries 'Back-Alley Politics' Of La Guardia in Row With Moses; "At Opening of New Prospect Park Zoo Former Governor Extols Park Commissioner, Who Joins Mayor in Shunning Ceremony -- 3,000 View Glittering $500,000 Centre."
work = The New York Times
pages = page 1, continued on page 17.
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1935-07-04
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70D1FFC3C58167A93C6A9178CD85F418385F9
format = HTML. Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-01-12

] and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks, playgrounds and zoos initiated in 1934 by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. It was built, in large part, through Civil Works Administration and Works Project Administration (WPA) labor and funding. After 53 years of operation as a city zoo run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Prospect Park Zoo closed on June 1988 for reconstruction.

cite news
last = Finder
first = Alan
title = Rebuilding a Brooklyn Zoo, Step by Agonizing Step; When the Residents Can't Complain, Why Rush a Much-Delayed City Project?
work = The New York Times
pages = Late Edition - Final, Section B, Page 1, Column 2
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1993-04-08
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00617FB34540C7B8CDDAD0894DB494D81&showabstract=1
format = HTML.
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] The closure signaled the start of a five year, $37 million dollar renovation program, that, save for the exteriors of the 1930s-era buildings, completely replaced the zoo. It was rededicated on October 5, 1993 as the Prospect Park Wildlife Conservation Center,cite news
last = Clines
first = Francis X.
title = What's 3 Letters and Zoologically Incorrect?
work = The New York Times
pages = Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 1, Column 3
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1993-02-04
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00616FF3B550C778CDDAB0894DB494D81&showabstract=1
format = HTML
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] joining an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The Prospect Park Zoo presently offers children's educational programs, is engaged in restoration of endangered species populations, runs a Wildlife Theater and reaches out to the local community through volunteer programs. As of 2007, the zoo housed nearly 630 animals representing 141 species; it was visited by about 234,000 people in 2007.cite paper
author = Wildlife Conservation Society
title = Annual Report 2006
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = December, 2006
url = http://www.wcs.org/media/file/annual06.pdf
format = offline: paper, online: PDF
accessdate = 2007-04-15
]

The zoo today

The Prospect Park Zoo is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society integrated network of zoos and aquaria spread throughout New York City. The others are Bronx Zoo, the flagship zoo; Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium. ] Located at 450 Flatbush Avenue, across from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the zoo is situated on a twelve acre plot somewhat lower than street level in Prospect Park and is one of the smaller facilities in the WCS system. Visitors may enter through the Flatbush Avenue entrance or from within Prospect Park, near Leffert's Homestead and the Carousel.

Exhibits

The zoo presents three themed exhibition venues, each housed in a dedicated building.

World of Animals

The World of Animals in the southern quadrant of the zoo, features the Discovery Trail. The trail begins in the World of Animals building, but visitors quickly pass to an outdoor path that winds through the southern third of the zoo. Animals from diverse corners of the globe are shown insettings not unlike their natural habitats. Visitors may find along the trail prairie dogs, Porcupines, Parma Wallabies, Red Pandas, Emus and other animals. cite map
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
title =

url = http://nyzoosandaquarium.com/media/file/Prospectparkzoomap05.pdf
edition = 5th
accessdate = 2007-06-13
] Signs often ask challenging questions, reinforcing presentations made in the Zoo's Discovery Center, or alert viewers to look for signs of animal habitation. Along one part of the Discovery Trail, young visitors may crawl through "underground burrows" to observation posts roofed with clear, hemispherical observation ports. They may observe prairie dogs in the round, right the midsts of the animals themselves.

Animal Lifestyles

Animal Lifestyles, in the western quadrant of the zoo, features indoor habitat exhibits. Visitors in the foyer of the building are shown Life in the Water, Life in Air, and Life on Land dioramas. Each diorama holds a carefully controlled environment that features select animals. These central displays broadly relate animals to their surrounds. Exhibits featuring more specific biota branch off from the central foyer. Side exhibits center on Cottontop Tamarins,
Meerkats, Emerald Tree Boas, Capybaras, Desert Monitors, among others. Some of these exhibits feature critically endangered animals, such as the Bali Mynah, which exist in greater numbers in captivity than in the wild.Exhibit signage, Prospect Park Zoo] The Prospect Park Zoo is engaged in breeding such species in captivity, a part of the larger wild life recovery program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. The zoo is engaged in augmenting populations of Bali Mynah and Cottontop Tamarins through breeding in captivity.cite paper
author = Wildlife Conservation Society
title = Annual Report 2005
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = December, 2005
url = http://www.wcs.org/media/file/annual05.pdf
format = offline: paper, online: PDF
accessdate = 2007-04-15
]

The main Animal Lifestyles exhibit consists of a troop of Hamadryas Baboons. Zoo visitors may observe the troop in a large glassed-in gallery which looks out into a rocky outcrop. Small caves in the outcrop lead to interior burrows where the animals may avoid inclement weather. The rear wall of the gallery illustrates common forms of baboon signalling and behavior, along with other social aspects of the animals. Ample seating allows visitors to observe the troop.

Animals in our Lives

Animals in our Lives in the northern quadrant of the zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits illustrating myriad relationships between animals and people. Some exhibits feature utilitarian relationships, such as how poison dart frogs acquired their names as sources of toxins for hunting and gathering cultures. This building houses the In Living Color display, where young visitors can observe how animals might use their colors to warn, hide from, or attract one another.cite paper
author = Wildlife Conservation Society
title = Annual Report 2006
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = December, 2006
url = http://www.wcs.org/media/file/annual06.pdf
format = offline: paper, online: PDF
accessdate = 2007-04-15
] The exhibit features animals such as the Eclectus Parrot, a species that illustrates extreme sexual dimorphism and Green Naped Rainbow Lorikeets.

A small working barn further north of the building contains the Animals in Our Lives exhibit. It is organized around a working barn with sheep, cows, goats, ducks, geese and other "working" animals. The farm setting serves to remind visitors that animals have commercial importance in human affairs.cite book
last = Berenson
first = Richard J.
coauthors = deMause, Neil
title = "The Complete Illustrated Guidebook to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden"
publisher = Silver Lining Books
date = 2001
location = New York
pages = 86 - 91
isbn = 0-7607-2213-7
]

Educational programs

The zoo hosts educational venues as well as exhibits. These revolve around the Discovery Center, a building with classrooms and laboratories designed to introduce school-age children to investigative practices of environmental and wildlife scientists. The Discovery Center introduces children to laboratory practices; they learn about and use professional laboratory equipment and learn how to integrate what they observe into zoological theory.cite web
url = http://nyzoosandaquarium.com/ppz_news/ppznewdiscoverycenter
title = City Zoos Education
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Center
accessdate = 2007-06-13
] These programs are based on educational concepts developed through WIZE (Wildlife Inquiry through Zoo Education), a program developed by Bronx Zoo educators.

On the weekends and holidays, the zoo hosts the Wildlife Theater, where zoo staff introduce the audience to different animals housed in the zoo.

The volunteer program at the Prospect Park Zoo engages members of the community; it is a combination outreach and educational program for adults. Volunteerguides conduct tours for visitors, while volunteer augment the educational program. Docents enroll in a four month training program.cite web
title = City Zoos Volunteers
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
url = http://nyzoosandaquarium.com/czeducation
accessdate = 2007-06-13
] Following their graduation, docents assist staff in putting on demonstrations and explaining exhibits.

Special events round out these periodic offerings. In 2007, Prospect Park Zoo outreach educators presented “Bison and American Prairies” at the Brooklyn Public Library. They employed kinaesthetic activities to teach about the dynamics of food webs, the role of keystone species, and the effect of one animal’s extinction on other animals. WCS efforts to conserve the American bison illustrated various aspects of animal population interactions.

Facilities

The zoo grounds and building exteriors were designed by Aymar Embury II. The facility consists of six red brick and lime-stoned trimmed buildings grouped in a semi-circular arrangement around a central courtyard with the seal pool occupying the center of the court. The building exteriors date to the 1930s while the interiors were built during the 1989 – 1993 reconstruction. There is a freestanding wooden barn just north of the circular group of buildings. A set of stairs from the main entrance leads visitors down to zoo level. A small restaurant and the administrative center is immediately to the left, occupying the southeastern quadrant of the zoo. The Discovery Center is immediately to the right, occupying the northeastern quadrant of the zoo. Arrayed in front of the visitor are the three exhibit buildings, The World of Animals to the south, the Animal Lifestyles building, behind the seal pool directly in front of the visitor, Animals in our Lives is to the right. Visitors may view the exhibits in any order.

Evolution of Brooklyn zoological gardens

The original 1866 proposal of Prospect Park featured a "Zoological Garden" on the western flank of the park, near the present Litchfield Manor, but the garden had not been started by the time Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux separated from the park in 1874. This notwithstanding, a few features of the original park design did serve zoological purposes. A Wild Fowl Pond, once occupying the northern quadrant of the zoo grounds, served as a haven for water birds. A Deer Paddock, once occupying the southern quadrants of the zoo grounds, was a penned-in area for deer. In addition, a flock of sheep regularly maintained the grass in the park meadows and were kept in a paddock on the eastern flank of Sullivan Hill, near the now-demolished .

Menagerie

Interest in zoological gardens flowered in the last decade of the 19th century. An informal Menagerie began to take shape within Prospect Park in May, 1890 when the newly appointed president of the City of Brooklyn Parks Commission, George V. Brower, donated "three young cinnamon bears."cite news
title = Doings at Today's Meeting of the Board
work = The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
pages = [http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&CurrentPage=1&BaseHref=BEG%2F1890%2F05%2F20&PageSize=3&enter=true&PageLabel=6 Page 6, Column 4]
publisher = Brooklyn Daily Eagle
date = 1890-05-20
url = http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Layout/Includes/BEagle/ArtWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=BEagle&BaseHref=BEG%2F1890%2F05%2F20&ViewMode=GIF&GZ=T&PageLabelPrint=&EntityId=Ar00621&AppName=2
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] References to acquisitions of three cinnamon bears, kept in pens near the Dairy, before dinner at (a then expanded, now demolished) Shelter (Concert Grove) House.cite news
title = Guests of the Park Commissioners - Prominent Citizens Enjoy a Banquet and Inspect Recent Improvements
work = The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
pages = [http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?Skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&BaseHref=BEG/1890/07/03 Page 1, Column 8]
publisher = Brooklyn Daily Eagle
date = 1890-07-03
url = http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=BEagle&BaseHref=BEG/1890/07/03&PageLabelPrint=&EntityId=Ar00109&ViewMode=GIF&GZ=T
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] State Treasurer Harry Adams followed with a donation of three white deer, establishing a pattern. It was mainly through donations of animals by rich or prominent individuals that the Menagerie grew. By 1893, one observer noted that “seven seals arrived, one buffalo, from the estate of Samuel B. Duryea, three red foxes, three bears, one sacred cow, two white deer, five red deer, seven seals, and twelve to fifteen peacocks."cite web
url = http://www.prospectpark.org/history_nature/archives/vanished/exhibit60
title = Menagerie, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y., c.1900.
publisher = Prospect Park Alliance Photo Archive
accessdate = 2008-08-30
]

The animals were kept in pens on Sullivan Hill, situated across the East Drive from the zoo's present location, near the sheep paddock and northeast of the Dairy Farmhouse. Among other changes under way in the last decade of the 19th century, the Deer Paddock from the original park design merged with the Menagerie. The original Deer Paddock became a small meadow. This small meadow was later incorporated into Leffert's Homestead (1918) and the southern part of the present Zoo (1935)cite news
title = Beauties of the Park - Many Improvements Contemplated by the Commissioners
work = The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
pages = [http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&CurrentPage=1&BaseHref=BEG%2F1890%2F03%2F23&PageSize=3&enter=true&PageLabel=13 Page 13, Columns 1 and 2]
publisher = Brooklyn Daily Eagle
date = 1890-03-23
url = http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Layout/Includes/BEagle/ArtWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=BEagle&BaseHref=BEG%2F1890%2F03%2F23&ViewMode=GIF&GZ=T&PageLabelPrint=&EntityId=Ar01303&AppName=2
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] In June, 1891, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle ran a front page interview with George V. Brower, President of the Parks Commission, referring to the Prospect Park Menagerie still as a contemplated future project. Mr. Brower did say a "nucleus" had been established, and goes on to inventory the holdings in this nucleus (see reference for details). cite news
title = A Park Menagerie - Does Public Sentiment Favor One?
work = The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
pages = [http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?Skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&BaseHref=BEG/1891/06/21 Page 1, Column 3]
publisher = Brooklyn Daily Eagle
date = 1891-06-21
url = http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Layout/Includes/BEagle/ArtWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=BEagle&BaseHref=BEG%2F1891%2F06%2F21&ViewMode=GIF&GZ=T&PageLabelPrint=&EntityId=Ar00101&AppName=2
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] Of the original zoological facilities in the park, the Deer Paddock, located near the present Carousel, was converted into a meadow and the deer were moved to the new Menagerie, The Wild Fowl Pond remained, located on the east side of the park in a low area now forming the northern part of the zoo.

The Menagerie continued to accrue animals in the first decades of the twentieth century. These were generally donated by prominent individuals and institutions and formed a varied collection of specimens both native to North America and other regions of the world. cite news
title = New Animals For The Park
work = The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
pages = [http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&CurrentPage=1&BaseHref=BEG%2F1902%2F05%2F04&PageSize=3&enter=true&PageLabel=54 Page 54, Column 2]
publisher = Brooklyn Daily Eagle
date = 1902-05-04
url = http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=BEagle&BaseHref=BEG/1902/05/04&PageLabelPrint=&EntityId=Ar05408&ViewMode=GIF&GZ=T
accessdate = 2008-08-30
]

Robert Moses and the making of the "modern" Prospect Park Zoo

When he assumed office in January 1934, New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia tapped Robert Moses to head a newly unified Parks Department. cite web
url = http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_history/historic_tour/history_robert_moses_modern.html
title = Robert Moses and the Modern Park System (1929-1965)
accessdate = 2006-12-23
] Moses soon prepared extensive plans to reconstruct the city's parks, renovate existing facilities and create new swimming pools, zoos, playgrounds and parks. Moses acquired substantial Civil Works Administration, and later, Works Progress Administration funding and soon embarked upon an eight year city-wide construction program, relieving some of the high unemployment in New York City in this Depression year.

Plans for the new Prospect Park Zoo, prepared by Aymar Embury II, were announced in March, 1934. cite news
title = 'picture-Book' Zoo Being Built In Park
work = The New York Times
pages = Page 12
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1934-03-09
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70616F73459177A93CBA91788D85F408385F9
format = HTML. Synopsis free; fee for full article (PDF)
accessdate = 2007-01-12
] The area between the Wild Fowl Pond and former Deer Paddock on the east side of the park, situated across the East Drive from the Menagerie, was chosen as the site for the new zoo. Architect Embury designed a half circle of six brick buildings centered on a seal pool. Built of red brick with limestone trim, the buildings featured scenes from Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book".cite book
last = Lancaster
first = Clay
authorlink = Clay Lancaster
title = Prospect Park Handbook
publisher = Long Island University Press
date = 1972
location = New York
pages = 80 - 97
url = http://www.greenswardparks.org/books/handbook.html
format = HTML
id = 0-913252-06-9

] Dedicated on July 3, 1935 as the Prospect Park Zoo, the buildings constituted an integrated facility and were seen as a great improvement over the somewhat haphazardly developed Menagerie. The zoo featured an extensive bear pit, a seal pool, a Lion's house (the current Animals in our Lives building) an Elephant's House (the current Animal Lifestyles building) and a house for monkeys, birds, and horned animals (now the World of Animals building). With the completion of the new zoo, The Dairy Farmhouse, sheep paddock, and Menagerie were demolished and the sheep flock was replaced with mechanical mowers. The site of the old Menagerie has since been allowed to revert to forest land.

A bright beginning; a slow decline

For the next fifty years, the zoo served as a showcase of large animals from far away places, appealing to a sense of wonder. An estimated one million people visited the Prospect Park Zoo annually prior to World War II, but attendance gradually declined, reaching about a half million by the early 1980s. By this time, the facility showed signs of deterioration. A New York Times reporter visiting the zoo in 1980 noted that "...an Asiatic Black Bear lay on a rock a short distance from a guard rail. A shattered wine bottle, a cracked stick, and a number of empty beer cans were strewn about the ground a few feet in front of him. 'How many times have I seen a bear lift his foot and leave a bloody foot print?' said John Kinzig, a park supervisor at the Prospect Park Zoo. 'Vandalism is a major problem, and deterioration is overtaking repairs.'" Activists were pressing for major renovations of the zoo, which, in 1983, was rated by the Humane Society of the United States as one of the "10 worst" zoos in the country. cite news
last = Newton
first = James S.
title = New Focus Is Planned For Prospect Park Zoo
work = The New York Times
pages = Late City Final Edition, Section 1, Page 52, Column 5
publisher = The New York Times Company
date = 1987-04-05
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40715F73A550C768CDDAD0894DF484D81&showabstract=1
format = HTML, Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-01-02
] Others felt that a zoo was not in keeping with the original design of Prospect Park and urged its complete removal from the grounds. A fatal accident of an 11 year-old boy scaling the fence to the polar bear pit only served to underscore difficulties with the fifty year old facility. Juan Perez was an eleven year old boy who scaled a high iron picket fence separating the public area from the polar bear pit.cite news
last = Barron
first = James
title = Polar Bears Kill A Child At Prospect Park Zoo
work = The New York Times
pages = Late City Final Edition, Section A, Page 1, Column 1
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1987-05-20
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40715F6385E0C738EDDAC0894DF484D81&n=Top%2fNews%2fScience%2fTopics%2fZoos
format = Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2006-08-28
]

After fifteen years of off-again, on-again, conversations, The Koch Administration and the then-named NY Zoological Society (now Wildlife Conservation Society), signed a fifty year agreement in April, 1980, where the Central, Prospect, and Queens zoos would be administered by the Society.cite news
title = City's 3 Zoos to Be Taken Over By New York Zoological Society
work = The New York Times
pages = Metropolitan Report, Page B1
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 1980-04-23
url = http://select.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F20815FE395410728DDDAA0A94DC405B8084F1D3
format = HTML Synopsis free; PDF fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-11-22
] Specific plans for Prospect Park Zoo were another seven years in the making. By late summer 1987, an $18 million, two and a half year renovation plan was put forth to renovate Prospect Park Zoo and coordinate its venue with other facilities to avoid redundant programming. Prospect Park Zoo was slated to specialize in children programs and house smaller, unaggressive animal species.

Renovation of a re-purposed zoo

The Prospect Park Zoo closed to the public in June 1988. Over the next six months, new homes were found for the displaced animals in other zoos throughout the US. Demolition was managed by the Parks Department and began in June 1989, commencing what became nearly a five year, $37 million effort, overrunning initial estimates by two years and $19 million dollars.The renovation was originally estimated to cost $18 million dollars and require two and a half years. Reconstruction was complete in April, 1993 at a cost reported in the "New York Times", of $37 million dollars.] The exteriors of the Aymar Embury buildings were preserved, but badly deteriorated interiors were gutted, pits and cages were demolished, and new structures were built. The facilities were turned over to the NY Zoological Society in April 1993. cite web
title = About the City Zoos
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
url = http://nyzoosandaquarium.com/czabout#ppz
accessdate = 2007-06-13
]

A further six months were needed to repopulate the zoo, prepare exhibits, and ready the facility for the public. The re-purposed zoo opened on October 5, 1993 under the rubric "Prospect Park Wildlife Conservation Center". The Zoological Society hoped that the new name would suggest that the 'Wildlife Conservation Center' was far more than a mere 'zoo'; it was indeed a facility designed to preserve animal species. This name change coincided with the renaming of the zoological society to the 'Wildlife Conservation Society'.

The programs of the new center were geared toward educating children. Classrooms for the Discovery Center were housed in a dedicated building on the north wing of the zoo. Exhibits housed smaller species, eschewing elephants, tigers, and lions, and augmented displays with interactive exhibits. The public, however, continued to call the facility 'The Prospect Park Zoo', and over the ensuing thirteen years the old name quietly stuck. Even in WCS literature 'Prospect Park Zoo' is now used interchangeably with the new name.

Fiscal shortfalls

The Wildlife Conservation Society supports the Prospect Park Zoo through a combination of private funds and subsidies from the city, so the zoo is vulnerable to funding shortfalls during city fiscal crises. This was made clear on April 15, 2003 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg published his "doomsday budget" proposal for the next fiscal year, beginning in July 2003. Among other cuts to help close an overall $3.8 billion budget deficit, the Mayor proposed to cut all city funding for The Prospect Park Zoo and the Queens Zoo, and trim funding for the New York Aquarium and Bronx Zoo.

cite news
last = Steinhauer
first = Jennifer
title = Mayor's Plans Ask for Closing Of 2 City Zoos
work = The New York Times
pages = Late Edition -Final, Section D, Page 1, Column 5
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 2003-04-15
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F3061FFC3A5F0C768DDDAD0894DB404482&showabstract=1
format = HTML. Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-01-02
] The two zoos were the smallest among the facilities managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, and had the lowest annual attendance rates, approximately 200,000 for each threatened zoo. In contrast, the Bronx Zoo boasted annual attendance of two million and the Central Park Zoo enjoyed one million visitors annually.

Over the next two months, the fate of the two zoos hung in limbo while the city's executive branch and City Council hammered out a compromise budget. While there were a number of items on the budget, the zoo closures remained among the more visible of anticipated losses. In the middle of June, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller visited the zoo, and in a press conference outlined some of the pragmatic consequences of closure: a savings estimated by the city of $6 million for both facilities that would be offset by a WCS estimated expenditure of $8 million, to decommission facilities and — on short notice — find homes for 160 displaced animals. If the estimates were correct, reasoning went, it would be cheaper to run the zoos than to shut them down.cite press release
title = Speaker Miller And Brooklyn Delegation Fight To Keep NYC Zoos Open For Business
publisher = New York City Council
date = 2003-06-10
url = http://www.nyccouncil.info/pdf_files/newswire/nyczoos.pdf
accessdate = 2007-01-02
] cite news
last = Cooper
first = Michael
title = Robbed of White Knight Role, Council Changes Horses
work = The New York Times
pages = Late Edition - Final, Section B, Page 3, Column 1
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 2003-06-11
url = http://select.nytimes.comm/gst/abstract.html?res=F10714FD3B5D0C728DDDAF0894DB404482&showabstract=1
format = HTML. Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-01-02
]

By the start of the new fiscal year in July 2003 the approved budget restored a reduced funding level to the affected WCS facilities. To keep the Prospect Parkand Queens zoos open, the WCS had to close two classroom based instructional programs, lay off the supporting full- and part-time instructors and double admission fees.cite news
last = Hernández
first = Daisy
title = Classes at 2 Zoos Falling Victim To City's Fiscal Law of Jungle
work = The New York Times
pages = Late Edition - Final, Section 1, Page 31, Column 1
publisher = New York Times Company
date = 2003-07-20
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30A1FF735580C738EDDAE0894DB404482&showabstract=1
format = HTML. Synopsis free; fee for full article
accessdate = 2007-01-02
] Funding levels for the Wildlife Conservation Society were restored in the 2007 city budget, though the facilities remain vulnerable to future budget shortfalls.cite press release
title = From the Financial Desk… City Passes FY 2007 Budget
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = June, 2006
url = http://www.wcs.org/353624/2007budgetbn
accessdate = 2007-01-13
] 234,000 people visited the zoo in 2007, a drop of 1,000 from the 2006 level of 235,000.cite paper
author = Wildlife Conservation Society
title = Annual Report 2007
publisher = Wildlife Conservation Society
date = December, 2007
url = http://www.wcs.org/media/file/annual_07.pdf
format = offline: paper, online: PDF
accessdate = 2008-08-30
]

See also

*Bronx Zoo
*Central Park Zoo
*Heart of Brooklyn
*New York Aquarium
*Queens Zoo
*Prospect Park
*Wildlife Conservation Society

References

External links

* [http://www.prospectpark.org/visit/places/zoo Description of the zoo at the Prospect Park Alliance web site]
* [http://www.prospectparkzoo.com Wildlife Conservation Society's Prospect Park Zoo web site]
* [http://nyzoosandaquarium.com/media/file/Prospectparkzoomap05.pdf Map of Prospect Park Zoo (Portable Document Format - PDF)]
* [http://www.newyorkcityzoos.com/prospect.html Historical images of the Menagerie and Prospect Park Zoo]


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  • Prospect Park (Brooklyn) — Infobox nrhp | name =Prospect Park nrhp type = caption = location= Brooklyn, New York area = built =October 19, 1867 architect= Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux added = September 17, 1980 governing body = Local refnum=80002637 cite… …   Wikipedia

  • Prospect Park — 40° 39′ 41″ N 73° 58′ 13″ W / 40.66143, 73.97035 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Prospect Park (Park) — Prospect Park Lake Der Prospect Park im New Yorker Stadtbezirk (Borough) Brooklyn ist eine im Jahr 1867 eröffnete, heute 2,4 km² große Parkanlage. Sie befindet sich am Rande des gleichnamigen Stadtviertel zentral in Brooklyn etwa 3 km… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zoo TV Tour — World tour by U2 …   Wikipedia

  • Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint — Mill Creek Falls Location Prospect, Oregon Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Bronx Zoo — This article is about the zoo; for the TV series see The Bronx Zoo (TV series); for the book The Bronx Zoo about the Yankees, see Sparky Lyle, its author. Bronx Zoo Bronx Zoo logo …   Wikipedia

  • New York Zoo — There are several New York Zoos The Bronx Zoo, New York City s main zoo The Buffalo Zoo is a zoo in Buffalo, New York Central Park Zoo, in New York City Queens Zoo, located in New York City The Prospect Park Zoo is located in Prospect Park,… …   Wikipedia

  • Staten Island Zoo — Infobox zoo zoo name=Staten Island Zoo logo= logo width=200px logo caption=Logo of Zoo image caption=Cotton Top Tamarin, Sanguinus oedipus location=Staten Island, New York City, New York, USA date opened=June 10, 1936… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanley Park — Infobox park park=Stanley Park image size=350px caption=Aerial view of Stanley Park type=Municipal location=Vancouver coordinates=coord|49.303748|N|123.145237|W size=404.9 hectare (1,000 acre) opened=1888 operator=Vancouver Park Board annual… …   Wikipedia


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