Coatimundis, sulcata tortoises, armadillos, oh my! The animals at the annual Staten Island Zoological Society Ball were definitely the most exotic guests of all. The attendees were given a chance to interact with and learn about the different animals residing in the Staten Island Zoo. The event honored the outstanding generosity of Elvis Duran (the host of the Morning Show on Z100 radio station), The Bruce G. Geary Foundation and other charitable supporters of the Zoo. With their assistance the “biggest little Zoo in New York” continues to provide its visitors with the educational and entertaining experience, delighting young and old alike.
Ken Mitchell, executive director of the Staten Island Zoological Society, announced to the sold-out crowd of zoo lovers that two long-awaited projects, the Amur Leopard exhibit and Conservation carousel, will begin construction this summer. “These state-of-the-art additions to the Zoo will provide our visitors with enriching new experiences and offer the Society new sponsorship and membership-building opportunities. In addition, we have begun designing a new modern aquarium.”
Elvis Duran shared with us the story behind his unanticipated passion for the Staten Island Zoo saying “It’s kind of a funny story. One time I was offered an opportunity to come to the Staten Island Zoo and do an interview with a kangaroo. After meeting the kangaroo and learning about the other animals at the zoo, I fell in love with it – I was hooked. It’s the only place where you can be hands on with the animals- it‘s a boutiquey zoo.” Unfortunately, because of the poor economy and budget cuts the zoo has been losing the funds that help keep up the collection of the animals and was forced to reduce its staff. Thankfully though, the Staten Island Zoo holds a special place in the hearts of its advocates, who charitably sponsor many new and exciting projects for the community. With these new opportunities, it seems, people couldn’t be more excited about the zoo’s future. “With the new curator, we have many new, larger animals that will be added to the zoo this year. Everyone’s ready for the new chapter” says Elvis. “This zoo has the potential to be a world class zoo and everyone involved has the drive to take it there. It’s a good time at the zoo.”