Home to over 400 animals, more than 200 species from around the world are represented at the Erie Zoo. These animals include ... More
Home to over 400 animals, more than 200 species from around the world are represented at the Erie Zoo. These animals include polar bears, llamas, cheetahs, African mud turtles, alligators, penguins, African rhinos, Red pandas, Bornean orangutans, otters, giraffes, and pythons. The Botanical Gardens of Northwest Pennsylvania features 2,500 specimens from 600 species of plant.
My family visited Erie zoo this summer, Having to check out of hotel prior to spending the day at the zoo, my family had all their travel belongings in rental van, in zoo parking lot, In the afternoon my family returned to vehicle only to find that 5 vehicles in a row were all broken into (broken windows, locks removed), damaged, belongings gone through, and had possessions stolen. My wife immediately contacted the the Park and was told "they" had no liability. The zoo entrance and ticket booth is within a matter of feet to this lot. She then contacted the local police and when they arrived to investigate, they said that " vehicles at the zoo and Park are broken into all the time" and that "they are there all the time due to this".
It appears zoo and Park have no security cameras, no security patrolling their lots, no warning signs of this zoo and Park being a high crime area. I contacted zoo again around early September 2012, waited 2 weeks to hear from "Scott". Scott told me that he wasn't aware of anyone ever having property stolen at the zoo. In late September I started leaving messages with a Steve. A representative "Jen" contacted me to tell me the Zoo, Park, or their insurance company had no responsibility toward vehicle damage or any stolen possessions while families were on their property. She did not even contact the local police, the investigating officer, or get the police report (we provided officer name and incident report number). Jen did take the time to tell me that she had never heard of any crime ever occurring at the Park or Zoo parking lots ever before, but according to the police, their police cars are there regularly.
If you have a family, traveling possessions, a vehicle, and on vacation- I strongly recommend avoiding this place due to the crime and the lack of accountability and responsibity of the zoo owners and staff.
I am thankful that my wife or one of my sons didn't go back to the van to get or leave something and encounter the thieves who are making a living stealing from zoo customers. It is quite apparent that my wife or sons would have received no help if needed or attacked.
From Erie Zoo website on 9-26-12:
423 West 38th Street
Erie, PA 16508
Take I-79 north to I-90 East. Go east on 90 to Exit #27. Turn left at the end of the off ramp. Continue straight ahead for approximately 3 miles. You will go through 3 traffic lights - at the 4th traffic light you want to make a left. At the next traffic light make another left into the parking lot.
FROM WEST (OH)
Take I-90 to Exit #27. Turn left at the end of the off ramp. Continue straight ahead for approximately 3 miles. You will go through 3 traffic lights - at the 4th traffic light you want to make a left. At the next traffic light make another left into the parking lot.
FROM EAST (NY)
Take I-90 to Exit #27. Turn right at the end of the off ramp. Continue straight ahead for approximately 3 miles. You will go through 2 traffic lights - at the 3rd traffic light you want to make a left. At the next traffic light make another left into the parking lot.
This parking lot is where we were broken into and robbed. But yet the Erie website gives specific instructions for travelers and out-of-town customers to use it.
I go to the zoo every month. Its always a new experience! Love the hometown atmosphere. Look for the zookeeper and ask questions. She is very friendly and she will make your zoo experience more enjoyable! You'll always have negative critics for everything, no one is ever happy! How sad!! I've spent half of my life in the Navy and been around the world. I made it a point to visit every zoo in our port visits from Japan, Australia to a wallaby petting zoo in Tasmania. I love zoos and I love Erie!
This zoo is not really worth the 6 bucks to get in. with the cleveland and pittsburgh zoos both about an hour and a half away, go to one of those. there super great compared to the erie zoo. myself, my wife, son and daughter just took a weekend trip to the columbus zoo, thats a nice destination. very kid friendly, large, lots of staff to help with any questions, and a water park right next door! kids can ride a pony, train, boat, rides, get up close with animals and even touch some in 'Jacks landing'. dont bother with the erie zoo if your taking your kids and want them to have a good experience. you can walk the erie zoo in 30 min and see everything. they should just close it down and donate the animals to a nicer zoo and use the space for some more shopping! thats what erie is good for, shopping, not zoos! lol. best part of the erie zoo is the new erie zoo sign! nicer than the whole zoo!
A very small park (15 acres), the Erie Zoo is a nice zoo to take the little ones in your life. Facing obvious space constraints, the zoo offers a nice array of specimens in a uniquely laid-out, limited area. Exhibits of note – the powers-that-be have done a nice job of transforming part of their older, main building into a themed-home for orangutans and red pandas (“Wild Asia”); home to rhinos, warthogs and rarely-exhibited African Wild Dogs, Kiboka Outpost is a pleasant spacious exhibit with its observation deck and “Hide;” a renovated tiger exhibit is a tremendous upgrade from the concrete grotto that once held their feline residents; and the overall exhibit signage in the park looks to be being upgraded to a nice standard.. The jewel of the park, however, would have to be the zoo’s newer children’s area. Kids will love the train and carousel, up-close viewing of both penguins and alligators and the interactive Adventure Center is a fabulous hands-on facility. (I must admit, that the purpose behind the kiddy zoo’s “Mystery Mountain” is a “mystery” to me.) A new, seasonal model train layout is an amusing sidestop. On the other end of the spectrum, some parts of the park are seemingly outdated – the tight, barren enclosures and tiny pool earmarked for the zoo’s polar bears seem woefully undersized; while I thought the incorporation of the a “monkey island” into the giraffe yard’s moat was very innovative, the tall giants appeared to have little room to roam. Patrons should be understanding if they know the backstory of Samantha the gorilla, but the great ape does look sad each time we’ve visited. Food concessions continue to be average; restrooms were clean. Parking is free, but limited, which is not surprising, considering the parks’ overall size. In summary, Erie has a nice, pleasant zoo that is the perfect size for both small kids and grandparents.
To all those who bas the Erie Zoo, to Erie, to have a zoo in such a small city is such a great thing, the zoo gives so much to the community and it is valued very much in our community! To those of you who complain about the space of the animal exhibits, if you would kindly like to buy up some property and build larger spaces for the animals I'm sure the zoo would gladly appreciate it! To those who complain about the animals not being out in the colder weather, do you not realize that most of the animals at the zoo come from warmer climate and cannot be out side when the climate in Erie is so unpredictable and doesnt start to get close to the animals natural habitats temperature until about June, so I really dont think the amazingly caring zoo keepers at the zoo are going to risk the animals health for the enjoyment of you. The zoo has been unsuccessfully been trying to obtain animals such as gorillas for quite sometime now but being an endangered animal and seeing as the last two times they have tried to get one both of them died in transport to the zoo. the Erie Zoo is a purely non profit organization in order to keep doing the great job they can they need support from people who enjoy animals and enjoy what zoos do for the community and for animals around the world. The Erie Zoo is doing a great job, I am always pleased when I visit with my family and I always hate to see people who dont appreciate what we have here, the staff there is also the most friendly staff Ive ever encountered the admission staff are always willing to help me find the answer to any question I have and the zoo keepers and volunteers always have so much knowledge about the animals at the zoo! I love the Erie Zoo and I will continue to visit and support the zoo every year!
very sad for the animals at the erie zoo. i've never seen a gorilla look more sad and depressed. the polar bears are trapped on a concrete slab w/ a small swimming pool. in over 4 hours at the facility, i never once saw a zoo keeper to answer my questions. i never saw anyone over the age of 18. where is the management at this zoo?
living in bemus pt. ny, this is a close location...but i will not support this zoo any longer.
my plan is to right a letter to the board of directors to express my disappointment...
hopefully things will change!
This is a zoo we go to a few times every year. I was very disappointed to go over Easter weekend and find that a large percentage of the animal exhibits unopened, even with the beautiful weather forecast. The website advertised the season to be open that weekend, however, you would not have known that by the visit. Also, the food stands weren't open and the playground was filthy, full of water and leaves from last fall. The lily pad pond was not filled and the wash stations were not working. Additionally, when we arrived the train was not working. The train did get fixed as we were ready to leave so we bought tickets, stood in line only to get to the front and have the train break down after the second run. It was almost as if the Zoo Management did not realize the season was scheduled to open that weekend...
I love this zoo. As for the reviewers that disparage the gorilla enclosures... Samantha's mate died last year. I would be depressed too. She has a relatively good sized area outside that she does spend time in. And as for Leela (the orangutan) she interacts usually with all the kids at the windows. The father is a bit standoffish and the mother watches her baby as a mom would.
It seems like you have only been the one time and therefore would not know how the animals behave regularly.
I do concede, however, that the enclosures for the lions and polar bears could use some work. (Polar bears in particular). Both bears are new to the zoo also.
I wanted to first state that I'm not against zoos. I think with well kept facilities along with properly educated and motivated staff, it's a valuable asset to the community.
The habitats are quite small and poorly arranged. For instance, the gorillas and orangutans had nothing but a blanket to provide privacy and only a couple of balls (that looked as if they had not been touched for some time) for enrichment. Any animal and especially highly intelligent animals as these primates need enrichment and some form of privacy for psychological and physical well being. It gets worse though.
The big cats were in extremely small enclosures with little if any place to lounge out of sight and the cats were extremely agitated....pacing continuously.
The polar bear had a sore on the right side of its head. As I watched it, I realized that this was from it pacing and scraping the side of it's head against the exhibit repeatedly.
Finally, the giraffe exhibit. The exhibit looked pretty much like a parking lot. The entire ground was gravel rather than grass...or even dirt and would even be considered small for horses.
At this point, the Erie Zoo is bordering on sub-standard care.
I would save your money and plan a trip to a larger zoo that dedicates more time and dedication into their animals.
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