Summer is Finally Here – and so are Animal Demos, a Carousel and Big Bugs!

Janet Agostini Friends of the Zoo President & CEO

The warm weather is finally upon us, the zoo is awash in color from our beautiful flowers, the animals are out and it’s a special time to be at the zoo – especially with some new attractions to enhance your visits!

The Friends of the Zoo has installed an 18-horse carousel in the idyllic green space across from the Outdoor Birds exhibits that looks and feels magical. It’s been open on weekends since Memorial Day and our younger guests love the galloping ponies. Rides are $3 each, ride tokens can be purchased nearby and proceeds benefit the animals that call the zoo home. The carousel will be open every day starting on June 22.

Our summer exhibit of Big Bugs! also has descended on the wooded section of our Wildlife Trail between Amur tiger and Asian Elephant Preserve, and the bugs will operate daily through Labor Day starting on Member Appreciation Night June 12. Just as with last year’s dinosaurs, we built the Big Bugs! exhibit to be included in zoo admission — free for members!

Our animal care staff have started their summer animal demonstrations and keeper chats throughout the day on weekends, and they go daily starting June 22. You can see the full schedule here.

We also have a new walkway built by our county partners with support from the Friends. Stay tuned to our social media for updates on when we’ll hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

With all this to offer, it’s a great time to consider becoming a zoo member! Your membership supports the zoo’s missions of conservation and saving species and comes with free year-round admission plus many other perks. It’s the best deal in town for the best cause aroundSee the options at syracusezooevents.org/members – and we’ll see you at the zoo!

My best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo

Syracuse Zoo RGZ Big Bugs! Blue-Eyed Darner
Syracuse Zoo RGZ Big Bugs! Bombardier Beetle Grasshopper

Volunteering – A Richly Rewarding Experience!

Syracuse Zoo RGZ Volunteers
Janet Agostini Friends of the Zoo President & CEO

Did you know that many of the people you see helping to staff zoo events and education programs are volunteers? In fact, if it weren’t for our dedicated corps of volunteers, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo might not be able to offer some of our most popular events – like Zoo Boo, Brew at the Zoo, Breakfast with Santa and Asian Elephant Extravaganza, to name a few.

If you are looking to use your time and talents to make a difference, the zoo is the perfect place for you! We are always seeking dedicated, talented, reliable, energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to help with special events, assist in education programs, help maintain and beautify zoo grounds, and interpret zoo exhibits for visitors.

Here are ways you can volunteer at the zoo:

  • Zoo Events – Help the zoo host fun, educational events by greeting guests, staffing special event stations, assisting with arts, crafts, games and face-painting, help stage and decorate event spaces and more!
  • Be a Zoo Mascot – Represent the zoo at community events and onsite zoo activities as our elephant or penguin mascot! We’re seeking outgoing, entertaining people to don an animal costume and interact with the public just as a sports team mascot does.
  • Conservation Education – Assist our zoo education team with programs that promote public awareness of wildlife and nature conservation. Opportunities include assisting instructors of classroom education programs and staffing animal artifact and information stations.
  • Green Grounds and Gardens – Help us improve and maintain our beautiful zoo grounds through on-site projects that involve a team effort.

Zoo volunteer activities offer great experience for youth, college students, teachers, professionals, retirees, corporate groups and alumni associations, among many others. There are so many ways you can share your skills and give back to your community by helping the zoo with projects, programs, events and causes while getting involved in CNY’s premiere wildlife conservation center.

I invite you to consider joining our zoo family and to apply to be a zoo volunteer. To learn more, sign up for a Volunteer Information Night at syracusezooevents.org/volunteer or email volunteer services at volunteer@rosamondgiffordzoo.org.

My best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo