Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Celebrate the Seasons and the Animals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Welcome to the first blog!

It has been a year since I have had the honor of being the executive director at Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and it has been amazing to be part of such a supportive and enthusiastic zoo and conservation community.

We had a wonderful summer welcoming visitors back to the zoo and now we are looking forward to all the ways we can provide you with “the best day ever” through the fall and winter. The Friends of the Zoo exists to support the zoo’s animal care, conservation and education missions, so we are constantly creating fun, exciting activities that also educate and nurture a love for animals in our care and in the wild.

It was great seeing everyone at Zoo Boo and taking photos by all the decorations. Now what happens to the pumpkins decorating the zoo? They turn into enrichments for the animals! Enrichment means finding ways to engage the animals’ curiosity and encourage their natural behaviors by offering new sights, sounds, scents and experiences. Join us on Saturday, November 6 for the Squishing of the Squash to see what the animals do with their pumpkin treats – always an enriching experience for people and animals alike. Have you ever seen an elephant squash an 1100 lb. pumpkin?

For the holidays, we’re planning a new after-hours experience – Holiday Nights! On Friday and Saturday evenings in December, the zoo will shine with festive lighting, including some engineered by students in the Syracuse City School District! Come enjoy a winter wonderland with hot chocolate, S’mores, holiday music, entertainment and much more!

There is always great classes for youth to experience animals and soak up some STEM learning at the zoo. Check out our list of upcoming one-day zoo camps and Edventure Academy classes. For the adults we have animal-inspired Dinner and Beverage pairings that will not disappoint your tasted buds. Stay connected with events going on by visiting

We do all of this so we can bring you closer to your zoo for the sake of the animals here and around the world. Look forward to seeing you at the zoo!

Carrie Large
Executive Director, Friends of the Zoo


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