The Cape May County Park & Zoo
in Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Cape May Court House is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Middle Township, in Cape May County, New Jersey. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the United States 2000 Census, the CDP population was 4,704...
provides free year-round admission to a collection of over 550 animals representing 250 species in 85 acres (34.4 ha) of exhibits. The zoo is located at 707 Route 9 North, in the center of Cape May County's Central Park, and together the zoo and the park cover about 220 acres (89 ha). The zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....
began operation in 1978. Its principal exhibit areas are a 57 acres (23.1 ha) African Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...
, a free-flight aviary, and a reptile collection.
The zoo is open everyday except for Christmas, weather permitting. It's hours of operation are from 10:00 am until 3:45pm in the winter and 10:00am until 4:45pm in the summer. Time changes occur with Daylight Savings.
Cape May County Zoological Society/ZooFriends, a 501(c)3 non-profit NJ corporation, is the private sector partner of county government in the continuing improvement of the zoo.
In 2007, the Zoo received thirteen Chilean Flamingo
The Chilean Flamingo is a large species closely related to Caribbean Flamingo and Greater Flamingo, with which it was sometimes considered conspecific...
s from Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...
's Neverland Ranch
Neverland Valley Ranch is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, most famous for being a home of American entertainer Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2005. Jackson named the property after Neverland, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up...
. These birds summer outside in the Flamingo Yard and winter inside the World of Birds Aviary. The Chilean Flamingos are the smallest flamingos in the yard as well as the most numerous.
In April 2008, the zoo opened up a Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...
exhibit, acquiring two birds from the Wildlife Center for Virginia. The Cape May County Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization, raised about $25,000 for the new exhibit. The new exhibit kicked off the 30th anniversary of the zoo.
In 2010 the enclosure of the bald eagle habitat - Eagle Creek - was totally destroyed by the heavy record snow fall. Funded by a gift in memory of a local Navy veteran of WWII, Cape May County Zoological Society/ZooFriends are building a new home for America's living symbol of freedom and strength to honor veterans of all wars.
On May 10, 2010 the Cape May County Zoo welcomed two snow leopard cubs born to parents Himani and Vijay. They are the first snow leopard cubs born at the zoo and the first cubs for mother ‘Himani’. Only eleven snow leopards were born and survived last year in the United States. All four are currently housed in the snow leopard yard, because the snow leopard exhibit was destroyed during snow storms in February 2010. The Cape May County Zoological Society/ZooFriends plans to raise money to build a new habitat for them.
The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums was founded in 1924 and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and public aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation.The AZA headquarters is located in Silver...
(AZA), and participates in a number of its species survival programs. In particular, a Mountain Bongo Antelope from the zoo's collection was sent to the Mt. Kenya World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...
in 2004 to join a captive breeding population intended to reestablish a wild population in future generations.