Home to more than 700 animals, including a variety of endangered species, Rosamond Gifford Zoo is open year-round with numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits. Located on 43 acres at Burnet Park, the zoo is owned and operated by Onondaga County Parks with support from Friends of the Zoo.
Some of the more popular animal exhibits include Asian elephants, Humboldt penguins, Amur tigers, and African lions. Rosamond Gifford Zoo also houses a conservation education center, banquet and meeting space, Jungle Cafe, and gift shop.
Visiting with Covid-19
Now in 2021, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is open to be enjoyed and explored. Safety is being prioritized by the zoo, and staff are adhering to all Covid-19 guidelines. Social distancing is being enforced, as only 750 visitors are allowed per day at the park. Currently, admission to the zoo is by reservation only, so make sure you buy your tickets online prior to arrival. Tickets are being sold every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Once at the zoo, you may stay for as long as the park is open.
Due to Covid-19, indoor exhibits are limited. Currently, the only available indoor exhibits for viewing are the Social Animals exhibit and the Leopard Woodland exhibit.
Plan Your Day at Rosamond Gifford Zoo
The zoo is open year-round with sixty percent of their exhibits being indoors. Outdoor exhibits remain open for the winter and include species chosen for their ability to adapt to our region’s climate. So grab a map and begin exploring!
Begin your journey in the U.S.S. Antiquities, home to a variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Walk through the submarine cave to learn how life forms changed over time and explore present day habitats of the plants and animals that live here. Then, explore the Diversity of Birds Aviary to catch a glimpse of the colors, shapes, sizes and lifestyles in the zoo’s diverse world of birds. From there, visit the animals in Adaptation. As many of these animals are nocturnal, this section of the zoo is frequently referred to as the “dark” area. Learn about various animals that have inherited unique features over time, which help them survive and reproduce including sloths, clouded leopards, fennec fox, naked mole rats and North American river otters. Pass through Lion Corridor for African lions, then enter the Social Building to enjoy a variety of playful primates like lemurs, siamang apes and monkeys that live here.
More to See Outdoors
Venture outdoors, to see dozens of birds on the main pond and in several exhibits, then onto Penguin Coast to watch penguins as they dive, swim and waddle about their exhibit. Continue around the half-mile Wildlife Trails to encounter gray wolves, Amur tigers, Turkmenian markhor, takin, red wolves, white-lipped deer, red pandas, snow leopards, Andean bears and more! Don’t forget to check out the pachyderm residents at Asian Elephant Preserve. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is home to seven Asian elephants: Doc, Siri, Romani, Kirina, Targa, Mali and Batu. Complete your journey at the Domestic Animal Barn to meet a variety of animals including alpacas, donkey, pony, Nigerian dwarf goats, chickens, barn owl and bunnies. You might even catch a training demonstration with our Guinea hogs.
Food at the Zoo
When it’s time to grab a bite, head to the Jungle Café, which offers a wide variety of menu items, seasonal specials and indoor and outdoor seating areas. Weather permitting, several concession stands are also available around the park. Outside food is also permitted within the park
Tours at Rosamund Gifford Zoo
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo welcomes tour groups of all sizes. With more than 700 animals and a beautiful, relaxed setting, guests are sure to have an enjoyable day. Meet with the zoo’s team of education volunteers, specially-trained tour guides that will provide you with a wealth of information about the zoo and a great introdution to all of its animals. The zoo also offers inclusive tours for large and/or school groups, which include biofacts (animal artifacts) to assist visitors with a tactile and personal experience—beneficial to all guests, especially visitors with visual challenges. Tours are $1 per person, plus admission for non-members.
“The zoo is a great place to take the family for a 1-3 hour experience. . . There’s enough to see indoors if the weather isn’t good or a nice walk among the animals in good weather. . . Good variety of animals and there is always activities going on to keep the kids engaged.”
—HistoryBuff314, Syracuse, NY