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Turtle Back Zoo opened in June 1963 with a collection of 140 animals and 40 different species.
Today, the zoo is home to more than 100 different species from all five continents,
and it boasts exhibits and activities spread across 20 acres of South Mountain Reservation.
Read on to learn more about this historic operation:
The name: It’s a nod to the rock formation on the mountainside east of the zoo, which was called “Turtle Back Rock” by the Lenni-Lenape Native American tribe.
The exhibits: Sea lions, penguins, wolves, and bears are just a few of the zoo’s stars.
The Southeast Asia exhibit is particularly special: it features the Amur leopard and red panda, which are two very rare species threatened by extinction.
Don’t miss: The Endangered Species Carousel, which invites you to hitch a ride on a panda, alligator, or more than 30 other rare creatures.
The custom-built carousel is located in a classic carousel house, complete with mosaic floors and stained glass windows.
Amenities: The zoo includes miniature train rides, an animal-themed playground, and other family-friendly amenities such as free parking, a cafeteria, a picnic area, and a gift shop.
Continuing with your article...
What You’ll Get:
GPS Address: 560 Northfield Avenue · West Orange, NJ 07052
Company Website: for hours and info.
Tried and Tested: Yes!
Recommended for: All ages
Added Bonus: Free Train ride and South Mountain Reservation is right there for a beautiful nature hike
Worth traveling an hour for? We’d give it a yes for the experience, but you may find a closer one to you. Always check Groupon to see if there’s a deal to be had
Click on the Map below to enlarge and print
How far is it from you?
Distance from Lakewood: Approx 70 Min.
Distance from Highland Park/Edison/Elizabeth: Approx 35-40 Min.
Distance from Passaic/Clifton/West Orange: Approx 0-15 Min.
Distance from Teaneck/Monsey: Approx 25 Min/45 Min
Distance from Brooklyn, NY: Approx 55 Min (more with traffic)
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