Tropic Zone

Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it’s true” ~Simon & Garfunkel~

Dozing sea lions at Central Park Zoo in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Dozing sea lions at Central Park Zoo (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Would you love to get away to a tropical island, but don’t have the time or resources?  If so, there is an alternative for those living within travel distance of New York City.  Although it doesn’t have sandy beaches and turquoise waters, it does have lush tropical plants, warm tropical temperatures and abundant tropical wildlife, all for an admission fee of $12.00.  But be forewarned; once you enter this mini paradise, you may not want to leave.

A duck at Central Park Zoo in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

A duck at Central Park Zoo (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

During a recent visit to New York City, my husband and I decided we would like to mingle with the wildlife at the Central Park Zoo. Although the animal lover in me hates to see wildlife in captivity, I selfishly wanted to see the snow leopards and the sea lions before strolling around Central Park.  The good news is that by supporting the local New York zoos (of which there are five: Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium), you are in turn supporting conservation and education programs in over 60 countries worldwide.

A Scarlett Ibis in the Tropic Zone in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

A Scarlett Ibis in the Tropic Zone (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

After walking around admiring the grounds and its wide variety of residents, we decided to enter the Tropic Zone, a “walk through rainforest” complete with an assortment of brilliantly colored birds flying freely about, while a cast of other animal kingdom members in surrounding enclosures helped to consummate the illusion.  The moist, steamy air immediately fogged my glasses, temporarily diminishing my view.  But my other senses were fully engaged as I drank in the scents of plants and fauna, thrilled at the gentle touch of  humidity on my cheeks and in my nostrils, and soared with the melodious sounds of birds as they flew overhead.  In other words, even without sight, it was a little slice of paradise.

Striking blue specimen in the Tropic Zone in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Striking blue specimen in the Tropic Zone (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

And when my lenses cleared, I was treated to a visual potpourri of the avian ‘who’s who’ in the jungle.  There were birds in such colors as I had never witnessed before (except on the pages of National Geographic); from blazing cream sickle orange to shimmering royal blue, some glowing with scintillating gold highlights on their wings and chests. This vibrant flock of psychedelically hued avian were well mannered (that is, no dive bombing or pooping on our heads) and seemed quite content in their humble, tropic domain.  Some perched on branches, combing their feathers with their sharp beaks.  Others nibbled on snacks from bowls placed randomly throughout the enclosure.  A few took short flights around the perimeter, stopping occasionally to view the activities in another corner of their indoor world.

A Woodland Peacock in the Tropic Zone in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

A Woodland Peacock in the Tropic Zone (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

If you’re a bird lover, roaming around inside the Tropic Zone will be a feast for the eyes. If you’re dying for some emerald green foliage, it’s in abundant supply here. If you like to play hide and seek, there are Amazon tree boas curled in concealed places (I’m happy to say I didn’t find them) and tiny Malayan mouse deer laying in the underbrush.  Funky black and white lemurs leap through the air like trapeze artists from the Flying Wallenda family. Or, you might just be seeking a brief respite from the bitter cold.  For whatever you’re craving, it’s all happening at the zoo . . .

Central Park Zoo is open every day.  Please visit their website for hours: www.centralparkzoo.com 

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Comments

  1. What a great idea! I never knew they had a Zoo in Central Park, let alone, a Tropical paradise!

  2. Really? In New York City! What a reprieve from the cold winter months. As always, thank you for shining the light!

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