I’M Loooking at you pal!
|Ostriches are the largest living bird species, with the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. This one resides at the Staten Island Zoo. Oct. 26, 2014. (Staten Island Advance/Virginia N. Sherry)|
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Over 80 years ago, some good folks embraced the vision of a state-of-the-art zoo on this borough's North Shore and -- amazingly -- made it happen here, within a few short years, in the middle of The Great Depression of the 1930s.
From the outset, the zoo named this as one of its goals: "To instill in children an understanding and appreciation of living creatures."
For generations of Staten Island families, that goal still resonates, as parents and grandparents trek their kids to the zoo where they, too, were introduced to the wonders of reptiles, fish and other living creatures in a setting both informative and inspiring.
Early Sunday afternoon, the kids were out in force at the zoo, some of them still in strollers and others romping about on their own, excited to see the endangered Amur leopards and African grey-crowned cranes, a pair of American bald eagles, screeching black-and-white ruffed lemurs and long-necked ostriches, the world's largest living species of bird.
"She loves the zoo," said Alison Lacle of Westerleigh, whose daughter Gabriella, 4, was in tow and admitted a soft spot for the leopards. "She's been coming here since she was able to walk."
Four brothers from Bayonne, N.J., accompanied by their grandmother, Terry, who did not want to provide last names, said they had been enjoying the zoo for three hours.
"The leopards were pretty cool," said Owen, 10, the oldest. "But I'm sorry that such an amazing animal like that is in danger of extinction."
His brother Ben, 8, said he enjoyed the otters. "They were very playful and really funny," he said.
Click here for eight historic facts about the Staten Island Zoo that you may not know
If you are alone and might need company at the Zoo. You might find me willing to to take around there. Adam*