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

 

 

 

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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

Zoo Blog

  • DHMexicanWolf16x20
    Wolf Awareness Week 10/12 to 10/18
    October 14, 2014

    It’s Wolf Awareness Week at the Utica Zoo. 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 Utica Zoo has been Read More

  • ming yue
    New Female Red Panda – Ming Yue
    October 10, 2014

    The Utica Zoo introduced a new female Red Panda today. Her name is Ming Yue. She will join the male Red Panda Muse in the same exhibit.

Upcoming Events

Oct
22
Wed
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – A Hoot in the F...
Zoo Adventures – A Hoot in the F...
Oct 22 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - A Hoot in the Forest!
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. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am and lasts approximately an hour.
Oct
23
Thu
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – A Hoot in the F...
Zoo Adventures – A Hoot in the F...
Oct 23 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - A Hoot in the Forest!
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. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am and lasts approximately an hour.
Nov
7
Fri
10:30 AM Stroller Safari – North American...
Stroller Safari – North American...
Nov 7 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Stroller Safari - North American Trek
Load up your stroller and join the newest zoo adventure for your toddler or infant! Each safari includes an interactive stroller tour and an up close animal encounter. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for nonmembers. The class meets outside the auditorium at 10:30am.  
Nov
13
Thu
10:30 AM Homeschool Program – Digging for...
Homeschool Program – Digging for...
Nov 13 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Homeschool Program - Digging for Dinosaurs
Is your child a budding zoologist? Our interactive classes help to further homeschool studies through group activities and animal interactions. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.

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