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Red Panda

Red Panda

Though their names are similar, the red panda and giant panda are only very distantly related by a common ancestor that can be traced back to tens of millions of years ago. Both species were identified as pandas as the word “panda” means “bamboo eater,” and bamboo is a primary part of both the red panda’s and the giant panda’s diet.

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Catering at the Zoo

About the Zoo

According to TripAdvisor, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is ranked among top Syracuse area attractions!


Providing Guests "The Best Day Ever"

Founded in 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The zoo is dedicated to connecting people to the natural world by providing engaging guest experiences, exceptional animal care, and unparalleled conservation education.

The zoo actively collaborates with Friends of the Zoo to provide its guests “the best day ever,” ensuring experiences that excite, memories that endure, and knowledge that inspires worldwide conservation. 

History of the Zoo

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park has had its own wild adventure of growth and improvements over the last century. Once just a small 4-acre facility, the zoo is now home to approximately 700 animals on 43 acres. Continuous improvements to the zoo's infrastructure and animal exhibits ensure that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will remain a treasured attraction in Central New York.



A Word from Zoo Director Ted Fox


I hope that you fully enjoy your visit to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park. We are especially proud of our zoo -- from its focus on animal welfare to its “green building” status to its interactive capabilities.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo prides itself on its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a distinction earned by only 236 institutions. AZA accreditation is your guarantee that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo meets the highest standards of animal care and welfare, wildlife conservation education and guest experience.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is also a breeding zoo, which works closely with other AZA institutions to help ensure the survival of threatened and endangered species around the world.

Take your time, observe the animals, look at the plants, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and help us make the world a better place for animals and people. Thank you for your support!

- Ted

About Ted Fox

Ted Fox has worked at the zoo since 1991 and has served as director since 2011. A graduate of Cornell University, he holds a bachelor's degree in animal science. 

Fox sits on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) passerine Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). In this role, he collaborates with zoo experts across the country to examine the conservation needs of this expansive order of birds, and develop recommendations for population management and conservation based on the needs of the species and the facilities that house them.

Among his many achievements, Fox was instrumental in the development of the zoo's Humboldt penguin exhibit, which opened in 2005. Though industry experts forecast that it would take five years for the penguin pairs to become established and produce chicks, the first chicks hatched just one year after the exhibit opened. To date, more than 50 chicks have hatched at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, an accomplishment for which the zoo is nationally recognized. Fox regularly consults with zoological institutions around the country in preparation for new exhibit openings and about penguin management, especially as it pertains to breeding.

Under Fox's leadership, the zoo has expanded its use of green infrastructure, most recently with completion of a 50,000-gallon watering hole for the Asian Elephant Preserve in 2016. The preserve is a 5-acre space including a 12,000-square-foot state-of-the-art elephant husbandry facility complete with a green roof. The elephant pool, fully funded by Friends of the Zoo, has a bio-filtration system that produces zero impact on municipal storm and sewer systems. Fox gave a presentation on this project at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' 2017 national conference in Indianapolis.

Fox was also instrumental in raising the first Andean condor chick to be used for conservation education in Venezuela by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in conjunction with Bioandina Foundation and Inparques, the Venezuelan National Park Service. The goal is to gain popular support for establishing a viable population of Andean condors in Venezuela. To date, the bird has helped educate thousands of people about the importance of protecting the species, which is threatened in the wild.

Fox currently teaches an honors course, Challenges of Zoo Management, at Syracuse University. 

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