The Bronx Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in New York City. Filled with thousands of different animals of multiple species and award winning exhibitions, it has something for everyone. So, to expand your knowledge on this enormous attraction for your next visit, we have put together 11 of some of the zoo’s most interesting secrets.

10. The Zoo Is One of the Largest Wildlife Conservation Parks in the United States

In 1898, the City of New York designated 250 acres of Bronx Park to the New York Zoological Society to open a zoo that would serve to preserve native species and promote zoology. The zoo opened on November 4, 1899 with 843 animals featured in 22 exhibits. Today, as the largest metropolitan zoo in the country, it houses 4,000 animals of more than 650 different species across 265 acres of land.

The Bronx Zoo is actually run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, founded as the New York Zoological Society in 1895. It was one of the first conservation societies in the country with goals to “advance wildlife conservation, promote the study of zoology, and create a first-class zoo.” While they run the Bronx Zoo, they also operate the Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and the Queens Zoo.

The Society’s conservation efforts have also expanded across the globe protecting over 200 million acres of land in 65 countries. They also send their animals around the country to breed. In fact, they are highly successful in their efforts to protect and save species, beginning in 1907 when they successfully saved the American Bison from extinction.\