• Congo Gorilla Forest, Children’s Zoo, Butterfly Garden, and other seasonal attractions ready for reopening
  • New animal babies ready for their spring public debut; baby mandrill at Congo Gorilla Forest
  • Spring line-up packed with family entertainment as the “Animal Tales Extravaganza” kicks off
  • Spring/Summer season hours to resume *April 3, 2010

Bronx, N.Y. – March 29, 2010 – Saturday, April 3 marks the first day of spring at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo as the zoo officially reopens seasonal exhibits including Congo Gorilla Forest, the Children’s Zoo, the Butterfly Garden, and more.  The longer, peak-season hours also go into effect as the zoo will remain open until 5pm on weekdays and 5:30pm on weekends.

Spring at the WCS’s Bronx Zoo is always the season for new baby animals, and this year is no different.  Throughout the season, the Bronx Zoo’s new babies will be making their public debut – starting with the season opening of the Congo Gorilla Forest and the first look at the new baby mandrill, Gertrude, playfully interacting with her mother and father, Louise and Mapema.

Other than the arrival of new babies, there is no better indicator that spring is here than butterflies gently floating through the air, skipping from flower to flower; and there is no better place to see a spectacular array of colorful butterflies than in the Butterfly Garden at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. Dozens of species of butterflies will also begin greeting spring zoo-goers Saturday, April 3.

The same weekend will mark the start of the zoo’s Animal Tales Extravaganza.  For 13 consecutive weekends, from April through July, there will be a full line-up of family-oriented readings, performances, and activities themed around new and classic children’s books. 

Children will be able to walk through larger-than-life pages of real books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle at Butterfly Garden and Alphabet  by Matthew Van Fleet at Reptile House.  At Bear Overlook, walk through the new children’s book, Moon Bear, by Brenda Z. Guiberson and award-winning illustrator, Ed Young and enjoy a wild ride with Wild About Books by Judy Sierra at Astor Court.  These interactive, walk-through book experiences have been underwritten by the publishers of the books featured; The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Penguin Group (USA), Random House Children’s Books, and Simon & Schuster.

The experience also includes an opportunity for children to make their own “animal tale” book and “animal tail” bookmark based on Big Babies, Little Babies, which is published by DK Publishing, one of the event sponsors. 

Over the course of the 13-weekend extravaganza, favorite children’s authors from notable publishers including HarperCollins, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA), Random House Children’s Books, Simon & Schuster and will be hosting special story-time readings of their books at the Asia Plaza Theater.  Families will be able to meet their favorite children’s book authors and listen to them read their new and classic works then head over to New York Life’s Main Stage on Astor Court for live entertainment by some of the top-rated children’s entertainers.

The line-up for the first weekend of the Animal Tales Extravaganza includes the following:

**Saturday, April 3

11am, 1pm, 3pm - Wild Asia Plaza

Theatrical reading of Velveteen Rabbit

Manhattan Children’s Theater – Manhattan Children's Theatre is committed to producing affordable, high quality theatrical experiences for both children and families. It exists to ensure that the community has access to important works of classic literature and timely, poignant new work.  Ultimately, the group provides a live theatrical experience that encourages reading, critical thinking, curiosity of the world today and the world of tomorrow, as well as communication between children, their families, and their educators.

11:30am, 2pm - New York Life’s Main Stage

Musical performance by Sweetbeatz – Sweetbeatz will rock the zoo with her interactive, jazzy, urban music chops for kids – This VERY unique and “dazzling” performer creates intimacy with her audience using humor, winning original lyrics and dramatic effects.  Sweetbeatz writes lively original melodies inspired by the hustle and bustle of life in the city and is about to release her first CD.

**Sunday, April 4

11am, 1pm, 3pm - Wild Asia Plaza

Theatrical reading of Velveteen Rabbit

Manhattan Children’s Theater (Description above)

11:30am, 2pm - New York Life’s Main Stage

Musical performance by Joanie Leeds - Joanie Leeds joins her band, The Nightlights, for an interactive, high energy performance. Songs from her brand new CD, I'm A Rock Star, are already hitting the radio waves.  Her presentation is notable for its child-appropriate clarity, yet vocally Joanie soars easily through a remarkable array of styles with such an enviable power and dexterity that adult listeners forget that her intended audience is under age 10.  www.citykidmusic.com


New York Life is the featured sponsor of the Animal Tales Extravaganza and is hosting a Child ID event every weekend during the festivities.  The Child ID program provides peace of mind to parents who are concerned about the safety of their children and want to take action to protect them. A complimentary Identification Card, complete with the child’s photograph and fingerprints will be given to the parents.


*             Public access to some seasonal exhibits is weather dependent.

**            Scheduled times and performers subject to change without notice.

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $12 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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