Animal Additions, Habitat Changes, Strong Attendance Highlight Friends of Zoo Report

May 12, 2016

Supporters and employees of Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo got to hear today about accomplishments over the past year…and plans for the future.  Anyone who hasn’t visited in the past year or so will find some changes.

One of the additions at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo gives birds some new digs.  What used to be an old barn, Director Ted Fox says is now the Raptor house.

"The night house were all the birds live is just amazing.  We added an incubation, hatching and brooding area, so that when we have eggs to hatch we do it at the highest level that scientific research has shown.  Babies grow up really healthily and great and it’s been a great project.”     

Work has also begun on a pool for elephants, designed to resemble a watering hole in a natural habitat…with an adjacent viewing platform.  Friends of the Zoo President Janet Agostini says she hopes to have the elephants swimming by the fourth of July.  

Janet Agostini (L) is President of Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo; Ted Fox is Zoo Director
Credit John Smith/WAER News

  Other additions include a black and white lemur, an African lion,  a red wolf and eight flamboyant cuttlefish all from other zoos.  And new births added four Humboldt Penguins, an Asian elephant, a two-toed sloth and two desert Iguana’s.  Looking ahead, Agostini has plans for more upgrades.

"We have two big projects ahead of us that we’d like to see funded.  (One) is the animal Health Center so that’s one of the things in the priority master plan that we’ll be working on.  So we’ll be talking a lot about how we can provide tat building for our animals.”  

The Friends of the Zoo report shows almost 351-thousand visitors in 2015.  One way to try and get more families to visit this summer will be Zoovies…monthly outdoor showings of animal related movies with the zoo open in the evening.

This summer's features:

  • Rio | Thursday, June 23 
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins | Thursday, July 21 
  • Zootopia | Thursday, August 11