Ball Python

Ball Python

Due to heat sensing pits located along the upper jaw, ball pythons can easily find prey in complete darkness. The pits open at different angles which allows the snake to tell what direction warmth is coming from.

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Catering at the Zoo


The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is home to more than 700 animals representing some 275 species. From our smallest invertebrate to our largest mammal (Asian elephant), the zoo offers unique viewing opportunities for its guests.

The zoo is open year-round. Sixty percent of our exhibits are indoors. Our outdoor exhibits remain open for the winter and include species chosen for their ability to adapt to our region's climate. (Note: In cases of extremely frigid temperatures, or tremendous snow fall, outdoor animals may not be on view) 

Begin your journey in the U.S.S. Antiquities, home to a variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Walk through the submarine cave to learn how life forms changed over time and explore present day habitats of the plants and animals that live here. Stop at the cave entrance to check out the aquarium holding the only giant Pacific octopus in upstate New York, and several different species of fish, sea stars and anemones.

Continue through the Diversity of Birds Aviary where you will catch a glimpse of the colors, shapes, sizes and lifestyles in our diverse world of birds.  This free-flight aviary is home to dozens of birds from nearly two dozen different species.

Your next stop is a visit to the animals in Adaptation. As many of these animals are nocturnal, this section of the zoo is frequently referred to as the "dark" area.  Here you will learn about various animals that have inherited unique features over time, which help them survive and reproduce including sloths, clouded leopards, fennec fox, naked mole rats and North American river otters.

Pass through Lion Corridor where our African lions reside and enter the Social Building. You're sure to enjoy a variety of playful primates like lemurs, siamang apes and monkeys (among others) that live here.

As you venture outdoors, you'll see dozens of birds residing on the main pond and in several exhibits.  Members of the outdoor bird community include a variety of ducks, raptors, flamingos, blue cranes and other birds.

At Penguin Coast watch the penguins as they dive, swim and waddle about their exhibit.  There are six viewing windows which provide a number of angles to see the birds in action.

Continue around the half-mile path on the Wildlife Trails where you'll encounter gray wolves, Amur tigers, Turkmenian markhor, takin, red wolves, white-lipped deer, red pandas, snow leopards, Andean bears and more!

Don't forget to check out the pachyderm residents at Asian Elephant Preserve. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is home to seven Asian elephants: Doc, Siri, Romani, Kirina, Targa, Mali and Batu.

Complete your visit at the Domestic Animal Barn where you can feel wool in your hands and meet a variety of animals including alpacas, donkey, pony, Nigerian dwarf goats, chickens, barn owl and bunnies.  You might even catch a training demonstration with our Guinea hogs.  


Onondaga County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in employment or the provision of services. Links: Onondaga County's policy, complaint process, and language assistance or disability access issues.