While there are certainly more robust zoos to be found around the country, few can claim to be located in the heart of one of the world's premier parks. Of course, few cities have one of the world's most famous parks to begin with, but nevertheless, the Central Park Zoo's digestible spread of not-so-wildlife is most notable for requiring a pathetically sloth-like amount of energy to get to it. Still, New York isn't a city in which to waste half an hour staring into a snake habitat only to realize it isn't camouflaged, it's empty, so here are five things worth doing while you're there:
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher
1) Play Brand Nubian for the Mini-Nubian Goats
Ace, Abe, Curly, Floyd, Angel, and Spirit will be amazed by your sophisticated iPhone technology and your knowledge of '90s alternative hip-hop, even if their adorable floppy ears cause them to miss 67% of "Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down".
Photo: Central Park Zoo
2) Check out the Allison Maher Stern Snow Leopard Exhibit
According to the CPZ website, snow leopards "prefer the solitary life", but they've definitely been overheard talking about one day visiting the big city! Of the two prime lookout spots, one's behind glass, and the other mesh. Considering they can jump up to 50 feet, the conclusion must be drawn that snow leopards totally suck at breaking through mesh.
Photo: Sasha E
3) Watch Gus and Ida play with some toys
See that ball? Gus is totally going to play with it. Seriously. He just needs to recuperate from his last ball sesh. Really, it was that intense. But right now he just needs to catch a few z's, and dream about the day he gets to eat everyone he sees.
4) Mess with the Cotton-Top Tamarins
Located to the right of the entrance outside the Tropic Building, these tiny primates are only 10 inches tall and weigh about a pound. Run your finger along their glass enclosure and laugh as they chase after it like cats after a laser pointer, then get lost in deep reflection when you realize that maybe the world is a giant glass enclosure and some omnipotent alien is laughing as you chase after the respect of your peers. Whoah...
Photo: Central Park Zoo
5) Watch the snow monkeys take a bath
Snow monkeys are those dudes who always show up on TV straight chillin' in a steaming pool of water, getting their monkey hot tub on. If you think humans are that much smarter than monkeys, than consider that female snow monkeys have some how figured out a way to make taking baths cool.