|Date opened||October 26, 1968|
(as Flushing Meadow Zoo)
June 25, 1992
(as Queens Zoo)
|Location||Queens, New York, United States|
|Land area||18 acres (7.3 ha)|
|No. of species||75+|
|Public transit access||Subway: at 111th Street or Mets–Willets Point |
Bus: Q23, Q48
LIRR: Port Washington Branch at Mets–Willets Point (limited service)
The Queens Zoo is an 18-acre (7.3 ha) zoo located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Constructed on the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair and opened in 1968, it is the first to be designed from the start as a cageless zoo. Robert Moses turned the first shovel full of earth for the new construction on August 20, 1966, and cut the ceremonial ribbon to the new 18-acre (7.3 ha) "Flushing Meadows Zoo" a bit more than two years later on October 26, 1968.
The zoo's aviary is a geodesic dome designed by Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc. and used during the 1964 Fair. The dome was originally designed as the fair's major indoor assembly hall, with no indoor supports blocking anyone's view, and repurposed for the 1965 season as a tribute to Winston Churchill after he died in 1965. The 175-foot (53 m) diameter dome was one of the largest single-layer structures of its time. It was dismantled and stored after the fair, and was later reassembled in its current location with a mesh netting covering instead of the solid tent of the original dome.
The zoo was closed in 1988 and reopened in 1992 after a four-year, $16 million renovation, redesign, and reconceptualization.
The zoo is home to more than 75 species that are native to the Americas. It is the only one of five zoos in New York City that exhibits Andean bears. The zoo is also home to: Pumas, California sea lions, coyotes, burrowing owls, Canadian lynxes, Southern pudús, thick-billed parrots, American alligators, Roosevelt elk, American bison, trumpeter swans, king vultures, pronghorns, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, great horned owls, Chacoan peccaries, a walk-through aviary, and a farm with a variety of domestic animals.