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“3 rd oldest is worth saving”
Review of The Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo
Ranked #14 of 157 things to do in Buffalo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the United States. Each year, the Zoo welcomes approximately 400,000 visitors and is the second largest tourist attraction in Western New York, second only to Niagara Falls.Located on 23.5 acres of Buffalo’s beautiful Delaware Park, the Zoo exhibits a diverse collection of wild and exotic animals and more than 320 different species of plants. Open year-round, the Zoo is a constant source of conservation, education and recreation for Western New York.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Waterford, Virginia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“3 rd oldest is worth saving”
Reviewed November 21, 2010

I just visited the the Zoo for the first time since the mid 90's. I was very pleased to see the progress that has been made on this great little Zoo. The fact that its the 3rd oldest Zoo in the nation warrants that it be saved, nurtured, and re-energized. The renovations to the old animal/amphibian house are great. We had better access to Tigers and Lions here than we have had at the National Zoo in DC. The new Rain forest area rivals the Baltimore Aquarium. And, the Gorilla house, with Sidney and her new baby was also unprecedented. The New York State Farm tour and barn exhibit get excellent points for their history and preservation . I took a few Middle school field trips to the ZOO back in the late 60's, and I have fond memories of the Zoo. I was glad tobe able to share them with my family this weekend. I applaud the Buffalo Zoo for its progress, accessiblity, and family friendly atmosphere. Stay the course. Its worth the visit.

4 Thank dave20197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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627 reviews from our community

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Sad little zoo.”
Reviewed September 14, 2010

This zoo is very small, has few animals, and was not well kept up at all. There were enclosures that were completely empty with no animals in them whatsoever except maybe some ducks or geese that decided to make it their home. Most of the indoor exhibits had "Under Construction" signs in the windows and what they did have was very disappointing. The zoo was so small and empty we literally looked at everything in less than an hour.

Thank meholder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hagerstown, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Little Zoo with Big Potential”
Reviewed May 25, 2010

The Buffalo Zoo is a very nice zoo for what it is. Now you must beware of its limitations before you visit and judge it. Keep in mind the zoo is set in Delaware Park and it cannot expand beyond its borders. So moderations and expansions have to happen within the current limits. Also, it the third oldest zoo in the nation and with that, their may be outdated exhibits. In general if you have seen some of the top zoos in the nation, you shouldn't compare them to this or you will be disappointed. But if you're looking for a small zoo to walk around with the family, this is it.

A perk of going to a small zoo is being able to go back to animals and areas you may have seen earlier. Or maybe you didn't see an animal/area because it was too busy at that time. With children this may be a problem, but if they're patient or you're by youself, taken advantage of the situation. You'll notice certain exhibits have two animal signs in front of them. That means that they rotate both animals throughout the day. For example, the golden tiger is out during in the morning and by midafternoon you may see the lions in his place. For having limited space, I think this is a good solution to have a variety of animals seen.

By probably just looking at the exhibits, you'll probably notice the more modern ones. Otter Creek and Sea Lion Cove were made in the early 2000's and are naturual, inviting exhibits for their animals. Rainforest Falls is the gem of the zoo and it's right in the center of it. An indoor rainforest exhibit with a huge waterfall and a second floor viewing area to take in the whole exhibit. Here you will see ocelots, giant anteaters, capybaras, caiman, turtles, variety of monkeys, free flighted tropical birds, armadillos, and if you are lucky to catch him, an adorable tamandua (tree aneater). Behind the falls is an area for some more scary animals; anaconda, vampire bats, and piranhas. If you would like to avoid the area, the designers have been clever enough to have a bridge in front of the falls to get you to the other side of the exhibit. Also, certain times of the day the rainforest will actually produce a light mist on you.

The most recent exhibit is an update on their children's zoo. It's called Heritage Farms and it's a farm back in the 1800's along the Erie Canal. The zoo has a water theme with their current exhibits and this one has a local connection with the Erie Canal. Inside the barn, children and adults are able to pet farm animals such as a devon milking cow, mule, berkshire pigs, and in the near future, southdown sheep. Outside there is a chicken shed and another shed where an owl has taken residence. There's also a animal scat game, signs describing the animals and locations on the farm, and a little boat for children to climb on. You'll notice that the old children's zoo animals have retired on a vacant grassland, a more natural way to spend the rest of their days.

Some areas that you may find outdated are the bear pits and the elephant house. The architecture of the elephant house has a nice antique charm to it. It's just unforunate even with its current renovation the house and the yard aren't big enough to accomodate their two Asian elephants. You do get a nice view of the bears in their pits, but they are not natural, updated exhibits you'll see at other zoos. However, Arctic Cove is in their zoo's plans for the future. On warm days you may see the elephants and bears pacing, but maybe in the future with advancements on their exhibits they'll have more enrichment to keep them entertained.

Each season is a good season to go to the zoo. The summer kicks off the programming with animal shows and keeper talks. It's also a time when the peafowl are out and sometimes they are walking right in front of you are perched on a near by fence. And the winter is actually a nice time to go because it's less crowded and some of the animals are actually move active in the colder weather. I like seeing the polar bears embrace the snow and the otters slide on their bellies. Whenever I get too cold, I hop into the Rainforest exhibit! The zoo also does a good job with themed weekends like, "Elephantastic Weekend", "Bear Awareness Day", "Cool Cats", and "Ape-ril Weekend".

So make a day of it and spend the whole day at this zoo!

1 Thank ak82984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
296 reviews
211 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Hardly Worth the $3.25 I Paid to Get In”
Reviewed August 29, 2009

When I heard that this was the oldest zoo in Amercia, and approved by the Association of Zoos and Aquariams, I couldn't wait to get there. When I finally saw the zoo, I was more than disappointed. Having a reciprical zoo pass, my party and I managed to get in for quite cheap. But that's hardly what it was worth.

Pros: As I said, the price. How can anyone resist $3.25?

Cons: I could type for a while on this one. First, almost every exhibit had two different signs for two different animals. Only one of which was ever in the exhibit, sometimes there was not an animal. Second, is it really necessary to have three or four different spectacled bear exhibits? Thrid, the animals that were there did not have much space, certainly not like the Toronto Zoo, Henry Doorly Zoo, or really, any zoo I've been to recently. There was a severe lack of animals at the zoo, although there were many exhibits.

Although it was cheap it was certainly not worth it. It looks to me like America's oldest zoo might just be one of its worst.

3 Thank RoapTripper3081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“buffalo zoo great for familys”
Reviewed August 16, 2009

when i was a kid my class took a trip to buffalo and when whent to this zoo. i loved it all the animals and i loved the gorillas and polar bears so when my kids where little we all took a trip and things hadent changed much but i still loved it this past year for my sons feild trip they decided to go to the zoo they added a whole new rainforest with birds of every kind even pink ones i recomend it if you have small kids in your family or an animal lover its great for familys everyone will love it i know my family did.

3 Thank dancrgurl17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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