The Bronx Children’s Zoo is reopening this weekend after an 18-month renovation with a bevy of new animal species and a social media photo safari — #NYisWild — that allows attendees to compete for a trip to the Belize Barrier Reef, a whale watching tour and family membership to all five Wildlife Conservation Society parks, among other prizes.
The weeklong reopening celebration kicks off Saturday with celebrity meet-n-greets and photo ops with Peppa Pig, star of the animated Nickelodeon series, “Nick Jr.,” music and dance performances by the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, the BombaYo Afro-Puerto Rican Youth Project and the Casita Maria Chorus from the Bronx. An Adventure Club, guided tours and other activities are also slated.
New species at the 74-year-old Children’s Zoo include the giant anteater , Linne’s Two-toed sloth, the gymnastically delightful South American coati-mundi and the world’s smallest deer, the tiny South American pudu. American alligators, South American squirrel monkeys, black-tailed prairie dogs, Caribbean flamingoes and other dabbing waterfowl will also be back in refurbished quarters.
The last and only other renovation of the Children’s Zoo occurred in 1981. Walk-through trails and the aviary, prairie dog tunnels, bird nests, turtle shells and the tree house slide remain, augmented with updated interpretive graphics, new habitats and more play experiences for kids.
Go to bronxzoo.com to plan your trip. Register for the social media contest, which involves sharing photos with various hashtags, at NYisWild.com.