The very first job I ever had was in the Bronx Zoo. No, my job wasn’t to feed the animals, although that would have been cool. My job was as a busboy in one of the eateries in the park called the “Kiosk.” The job wasn’t a glamorous one… in fact it was downright dirty! But I was young and I didn’t really care about that. I just loved working in the zoo!
Like many people, I’ve always been interested in animals. To me, the creatures we share this planet with are fascinating in all sorts of ways. From the imposing family of big cats to elephants, polar bears, reptiles and birds, animals are beautiful and intriguing creatures. Though many people may look upon zoos as a negative thing, keeping animals in captivity mainly for the pleasure of humans, I think zoos serve a valuable purpose. Zoos allow us to see magnificent creatures we would normally never be able to see up close and personal, and to both learn about and appreciate, as well.
One of the things I loved best about working for the zoo was having it all to myself early in the day. I’d have to be at work by 9AM to prepare the Kiosk for its 11AM opening, which usually took an hour. The whole crew had their “lunch hour” from 10 till 11 and almost every day we’d go exploring together. We’d check out the “World of Darkness” one day, “Jungle World” the next, the sea lion pool on another day…it was always great fun because there was never anybody around that early in the morning.
The Bronx Zoo is one of the largest and most famous zoos in the world. The park is situated on 265 acres within the larger Bronx Park, which includes the New York Botanical Gardens right across the street. The zoo contains a wide variety of habitats and exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, featuring more than 4,000 animals.
Though it’s difficult to get through the whole place in one day, the Bronx Zoo is well worth a visit during any stay in New York City. The park is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day. Wednesdays are “suggested donation” days, which attract a lot of folks, so be wary of this should you plan a visit.
For more information on the Bronx Zoo, visit their website below.