About The Utica Zoo

Mission

The mission of the Utica Zoo is to foster public understanding and appreciation of wildlife species and their ecosystems through education, conservation and recreation.

Vision

The Utica Zoo will be a place that inspires an understanding of and appreciation for animals and nature to the level that we move people to care.

History of the Utica Zoo & Utica Zoological Society

The Utica Zoo has served the region for over 100 years. Located in Roscoe-Conkling Park, the zoo is part of a recreational complex made possible by the donation of land from Thomas R. Proctor in 1909. He had a dream that a park could do as much for South Utica as Central Park was doing for New York City. He hired a famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, who had designed Central Park, to plan the roads and scenic walkways in Roscoe Conkling Park. The Zoo has grown from its small beginnings with three fallow deer in 1914, to its present collection of over 200 animals. Of the 80 acres of land set aside for the zoo’s use, 40 are presently developed.

The Zoo property is owned by the City of Utica, and until 1964, was operated by the Parks Department. In order to ensure the Utica Zoo’s continued existence, the Utica Zoological Society assumed full management of the zoo in 1964.  The first professional zoo director was hired in 1966. One year later, Marlin Perkins officiated at the opening of the Children’ s Zoo. The society was chartered as an educational institution by the New York State Educational Department in 1968. In 1973, the education department was established with the appointment of a curator to carry out its programs.

The first building, completed in 1920, is currently named the Wildlife Building and houses the administrative offices, auditorium, reptile exhibits and the zoo’ s kitchen.  In 1981, the Animal Care Center was added to the Wildlife Building for the quarantine and veterinary facilities. The first building made exclusively for animal use was completed in 1927 and still houses the primate collection. Other major exhibits include the Lion exhibit and the California sea lion exhibit (finished in 1986).

The Utica Zoo is a regional facility and a sparkling gem for the Mohawk Valley. The zoo receives annual support from Oneida County and an annual operating grant from the Natural Heritage Trust (a state agency).  The remainder of the budget is raised by the Society. Admissions fees, society membership, special events such as Wine in the Wilderness, Brewfest & Spooktacular, the gift shop, the Adopt an Animal program, animal feed sales, stroller rentals, pavilion rentals and donations complete the operating budget income. Major capital improvements are funded through specific fund drives, major grants and other contributions and sponsorships.

ONEIDA COUNTY SEAL COLOR

 

 

 

Hours and Admisson

April 1 to October 31: Open 10AM until 4:45 PM
November 1 to March 31: Open 10AM, admission/gift shop closes at 3PM & Zoo gates close at 4PM

Admission 4/1- 10/31 11/1- 3/31 & Group
Child 3-12 $4.75 $2.50
Adult 13-61 $7.75 $4.25
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ ID $6.75 $3.50

Upcoming Events

Dec
4
Thu
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Bundle Up!
Zoo Adventures – Bundle Up!
Dec 4 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Bundle Up!
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. Child admission included and Adults are free. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.
Dec
6
Sat
10:30 AM Dangerous Defenses – Antler Anti...
Dangerous Defenses – Antler Anti...
Dec 6 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dangerous Defenses - Antler Antics Story Time
Dangerous Defenses-December programs will focus on the different ways animals keep themselves safe. Tarkington Moose is losing his antlers! What can he do? Find out as zoo educators read a fun story and introduce you to a couple of education animals. Free with admission. 10:30am in the Auditorium.  
Dec
11
Thu
10:30 AM Homeschool Program – All About B...
Homeschool Program – All About B...
Dec 11 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Homeschool Program - All About Birds
Our interactive classes help to further home school studies through group activities and animal interactions. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. Child admission included and Adults are free . The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.
Dec
12
Fri
6:00 PM Night Prowl
Night Prowl
Dec 12 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Its dark and its cold and we are thinking about our warm beds! Many animals however are just getting up. Join zoo educators as they introduce you to nocturnal animals and then lead you on an exploration of the zoo after dark. The evening will end with hot chocolate and treats around a fire. $5.00 per person for members, $10.00 for non-members, under 2 free. Please pre-register.

View Calendar

Zoo Blog

  • Zoo Keepers from the Utica Zoo feeding Camels.
    Utica Zoo adds new Camel Window
    November 15, 2014

    The Utica Zoo has a brand new window for the Bactrian Camels. Every day at 11:30am we open up the doors for a keeper talk and feeding. The window is at the bottom of the ramp going up to our overlook, so you are actually at face level with the camels. Visitors that come to this feeding get to see the camels eat their daily produce diet. Their snacks consist of bananas, carrots, lettuce, yams, and apples. You will be just a few feet away from them and be able to learn more about the Bactrian Camel species, and specifically about Nigel and Najla. We have gotten a wonderful response from everyone with this new window. Most people are shocked Read More

  • DHMexicanWolf16x20
    Utica Zoo celebrates Wolf Awareness Week
    October 14, 2014

    It’s Wolf Awareness Week at the Utica Zoo from 10/12 to 10/18. Although they are essential to the health of the ecosystem and keeping herbivore populations in check, wolves have been the subject of intense persecution throughout the centuries, and most species are either threatened or endangered due to myths and misunderstandings. Less than 100 individuals currently live in the wild. Mexican wolves are the most endangered gray wolf subspecies in North America, and our three females; Bella, Sierra and Aztec, are among the last of their kind. After becoming extinct in the wild during the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves are finally making a small comeback in Arizona and New Mexico, but there is still a long way to go. The Read More

  • ming yue
    Utica Zoo welcomes new female Red Panda
    October 10, 2014

    The Utica Zoo introduced a new female Red Panda today (October 8th, 2014). Her name is Ming Yue. She will join the male Red Panda Muse in the same exhibit. Q&A with Zoo Keeper Beth Ricci Why did we get a new Red Panda? We were recommended to bring Ming Yue to Utica as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which is a breeding and transfer plan. She was recommended to breed with our resident male, Muse. Where is Ming Yue from?  She came to us from the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, NY What is the breeding season?  Breeding occurs in winter, generally January-February. Breeding season is affected by photoperiod. Photoperiodism is the physiological reaction of organisms to the Read More

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