The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

May 28, 2011

A visit to the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park (formerly the Ross Park Zoo) to see my monkey buddies.

I took some simian video clips:

Here is the official website for the zoo.

60 Morgan Road
Binghamton, NY

An older version of the official site had this to say about the zoo and its history:

Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park sits tucked into the northern face of Binghamton’s South Mountain. The zoo officially opened in 1875, and it is the fifth oldest zoological institution in the country behind such communities as Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Buffalo. […]

The 90 acre plot was donated to the city of Binghamton by a wealthy businessman, Erastus Ross, who stipulated that the land was to be used as a park for all of the community to enjoy. The first electric-run trolleys in Binghamton were in 1887, and a line running up Park Avenue by way of the old Washington Street Bridge created easy access to the park. A roller coaster, swings, and a variety of other amusements helped Ross Park to flourish into a busy and popular recreational area. The stone pillars were erected in 1896 and welcomed visitors as they arrived by carriage or trolley. In 1919 Ross Park saw the arrival of a bear exhibit, and the park’s carousel.

The increased use of the automobile allowed people to travel out of the Binghamton area for recreation, decreasing the number of visitors to the park. The loss of this support caused the zoo to slowly deteriorate. The two World Wars and the Great Depression helped to continue the decline of Ross Park Zoo until the USDA (Dept. of Agriculture) threatened the zoo with closure due to substandard facilities and care.

In 1966, concerned community residents formed the Southern Tier Zoological Society, and for the first time in 1972, an appropriation for zoo maintenance appeared in the City of Binghamton’s budget. The Society was granted a contract by the City to oversee the operation and maintenance of the zoo in 1977, and has assumed additional responsibilities ever since. Today, the City of Binghamton provides non-cash services (water, sewer, gasoline, etc.), Broome County provides additional funding as a contract agency. The Zoo Society provides approximately 73% of the operating support, and 100% of the capital improvement support.


L I N K S:

Check out this baby otter from the zoo on the ZooBorns website.
“The Newest and Cutest Exotic Baby Animals from Zoos and Aquariums Around the World”


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