Thompson Park Zoo and Conservancy


Animals of the New York State Zoo

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American Elk (Cervus canadensis)Elk1

On exhibit: The photo to the right is male elk Aspen. He was born at the zoo 8 years ago. His mother Rosie lives with him currently. She is 21 years old. 

Diet: Herbivore; grass, shrubs, bark

Average wild life span: 8-12 years

Shoulder height: 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

Average weight: 500-730 lbs (225-331 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. There currently are no wild elk in New York. The eastern elk subspecies, now extinct, was once common in Pennsylvania and southern New York State. Our elk on exhibit are from the subspecies of the American Elk called the Roosevelt Elk. This subspecies is origionally from the Pacific Northwest. 

For more information about conservation efforts related to the American Elk, visit the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at


American Elk Sponsored by: Krafft Cleaning Service copy


Bobcat (Lynx rufus)100 1331 vE

On exhibit: Pandora is our young femal bobcat who is very energetic during the cool morning hours.  Pandora is a non-releaseable bobcat who could not survive in the wild. 

Diet: Carnivore; small mammals and birds

Average wild life span: 6-12 years

Shoulder height: 1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

Average weight: 14-21 lbs (6.4-9.5 kg)

New York State status: Common. Although rarely seen, bobcats live throughout New York State. They are nocturnal and tend to avoid populated areas. One way to determine if there are bobcats on your property is by using a motion-activated camera.

 For more information on Bobcats in New York State,  visit

Mountain lion (Puma concolor)009 3

On exhibit: Ninja is a 2 year old male mountain lion. 

Diet: Carnivore: eats mostly large mammals like deer and elk

Average wild life span: 8-13 years

Shoulder height: 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

Average weight: 100-180 lbs (45-81 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. Cougars are considered extirpated in New York State. This means they once lived here but there are no populations remaining in the state. Despite this official status, sightings of cougars are often reported within New York, particularly in the Adirondacks and North Country.


For more information on all things cougar conservation, check out



Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 

On exhibit: Duncan is a male eagle who is is about 27 years old. He was wild born and brought to the zoo because injuries have made him unreleasable.

Diet: Carnivore; fish and other small animals

Average wild life span: 30 years

Wingspan: 7 feet (2.1 meters)

Average weight: 8-13 lbs (3.6-5.9 kg)

New York State status: Threatened. The 20th century saw a huge decline and recovery of bald eagles in New York and nationwide. Pesticides were the main cause of the decline. By banning DDT and using captive breeding, conservationists were able to restore the bald eagle population to its current size. They are doing better, but bald eagles are still listed as a threatened species in New York.

 For more information on Bald Eagles in New York State, visit


Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)lynxface

On exhibit: Chayne, a 5 year old female, and her mate Abraham, a 2 year old male. In 2013 they had their first litter with 3 boys and 1 girl. In 2016 they had their second litter with 2 boys and 3 girls.  The boys are available for viewing at the lynx exhibit daily.

Diet: Carnivore; snowshoe hares and other small mammals and birds

Average wild life span: 14 years

Shoulder height: 19-22 inches (48-56 cm)

Average weight: 18-22 lbs (8-10 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. Extirpated is the word conservationists use to describe the status of a species that no longer lives in a certain area. Reported sightings of lynx in New York often turn our to be bobcats, although lynx do pass through from time to time.

For more information on Lynx in New York State, visit



Snowy owl (Bubo scandiaca) 

On exhibit: The snowy owl you see on exhibit at the zoo is Doc, a 14 year old male. Doc was born in captivity in St Louis.

Diet: Carnivore; small mammals

Average wild life span: 10 years

Wingspan: 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

Average weight: 2-4 lbs (0.9-1.8 kg)

New York State status: Transient. Although snowy owls breed in the far northern reaches of Canada, they move south in the winter into the United States, including New York. You might see them hunting for small mammals in the snow throughout the North Country in winter.

  For more information about snowy owls, check out

American black bear (Ursus americanus)tessbear

On exhibit: Tess is 3 years old. She was placed at the zoo by the DEC in July 2013. In 2014, Tess was joined by two sibling females named Terra and Tilly who are 2 years old. 

Diet: Omnivore, opportunistic

Average wild life span: 18 years

Height: up to 7 feet (2.1 m) when standing on hind feet

Average weight: 160-300 lbs (73-136 kg)

New York State status: Common. Most black bears in New York State live in the Adirondacks or Catskills. If you want to avoid bears in the wild, you should make lots of noise and use bear-proof containers for storing food while hiking or camping.

Black Bear Sponsored By WSB Logo


For more information about Black Bears in New York State, visit

WOLVERINE HEAD ONWolverine (Gulo gulo)

On exhibit: Valentine is our 9 year old female wolverine. She can be viewed during the cooler days or first thing in the morning.

Diet: Carnivore; predator/scavenger

Average wild life span: 7-12 years

Shoulder height: 14-18 inches (36-45 cm)

Average weight: 18-31 lbs (8-14 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. Wolverines are not currently found in New York State, but they may have once lived here. Wolverines' solitary, secretive behavior makes them difficult to study.

For more information on research efforts worldwide involving the wolverine, check out

Wolverine Sponsored By: knowltonPrintLogo


Grey Wolf (Canis lupis)wolf pack

On exhibit: Kaja and Kenai are our mating pair. Kaja is 9 years old and Kenai 7. They have had several litters of pups in their years here at the New York State Zoo. 

Diet: Carnivore

Average wild life span: 8-12 years

Height: 2-3 feet at shoulder

Average weight: males 120 lbs (54 kg), females 100 lbs (45 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. Wolves were once common in New York State. Human population growth and persecution of predator species harmed wolf populations, and now there are no known populations in the Eastern US. 

Grey Wolf Sponsored By 85677513


For more information on Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes region, check out


FisherFisher (Martes pennanti)

On exhibit: Our fisher exhibit is currently under construction.  Construction efforts must be complete before the Zoo can exhibit another fisher.

Diet: Carnivore; predator/scavenger

Average wild life span: up to 10 years

Body length: 31-40 inches (78-101 cm)

Average weight: 4-16 lbs (1.8-7.2 kg)

New York State status: Common. Fisher populations declined in the early 1900s due to habitat loss and over-harvesting. They have since recovered and fishers can be found in much of rural New York state in densely forested areas. You might find one waiting in a tree for a suitable meal to come along.

For more information about Fishers in New York State, visit


North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)swimming

On exhibit: Otis is the largest of the three otters, he is 8 years old. Ricky is Otis's son and is two years old.  Although Ricky and Otis return to the NYS Zoo on July 13, 2016, they will not be viewable to the public for a few weeks.  We hope you will visit often in hopes of catching a glimpes of this silly weasels before they venture to their new exhibit.

Diet: Carnivore: fish, amphibians, invertebrates

Average wild life span: 7-13 years

Body length: 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 m)

Average weight: 15-25 lbs (6.8-11.3 kg)

New York State status: Not listed. River otters are not listed as an endangered or threatened species. They are vulnerable to decline from habitat loss and degradation. At the top of their food chain, they are vulnerable to pollutants that may be picked up by their food from rivers and streams.


For more information on the North American River Otter in New York State, visit


2goldensGolden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

On exhibit: Our golden eagle is Snoopy, a female. She is 22 years old. She was born in Wyoming and brought into captivity when her injuries made her unreleaseable. 

Diet: Carnivore; rodents and other small animals

Average wild life span: 32 years

Wingspan: 7 feet (2.1 meters)

Average weight: 6-13 lbs (2.7-5.9 kg)

New York State status: Endangered. Golden eagles do not commonly breed in New York and are therefore considered endangered in the state. If you see a golden eagle, it has probably migrated south from Canada for the winter.

For more information on Golden Eagles in New York State, visit


Raven (Corvus corax)ravens

On exhibit: The two ravens, ages 6 and 7, share an exhibit with the bald eagles. 

Diet: Carnivore: scavenger

Average wild life span: 9 years

Wingspan: 3.7 feet (1.1 m)

Average weight: 1.5-3.5 lbs (0.7-1.6 kg)

New York State status: Common. Ravens are one of the most widespread birds in the world. They are found across the northern hemisphere, surviving in a wide range of habitats. You might find one stealing a meal from another animal or scavenging some road kill.




Heather A. Freeman Butterfly House

Butterfly House

The zoo's butterfly house is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day every year. Throughout the season, the species represented may include fritillaries, monarchs, swallowtails, and more! You can see the largest number and variety of butterflies and caterpillars in June and July. 

* This year the season is being extended though September. Daily tours will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Please call before your visit to check availablity. 

Sponsored by Heather A. Freeman Foundation     heatherafreeman




Farm Exhibit



Miniature donkey (Equus asinus)hankandalex

On exhibit: There are two donkeys in the farm exhibit. Hank, a male, is 21 years old and Alex, a female, is 25. They have both lived at the zoo for nine years. In the summer, you can find Hank and Alex out back by the fire tower.

Diet: Herbivore; grazer

Average life span: 25-30 years

Height at shoulder: 3 feet (91 cm)

Average weight: 200-350 lbs (91-159 kg)

Origin: Donkeys have been used as pack animals for at least 5,000 years. This breed of donkey was originially from the Mediterranean region and was first brought to the US in 1929. They are known for their affectionate and steady personality.


hog1Guinea hog (Sus scrofa)

On exhibit: Our two guinea hogs, Jack and Jill, are actually brother and sister! They are 4 years old and have lived at the zoo since they were just a few months old.

Diet: Herbivore: fruits, nuts, vegetables, hay, roots

Average life span: 13-16 years

Average height (shoulder): 21-24 inches (53-61 cm)

Average weight: 150-300 lbs (68-136 kg)

Origin: Guinea hogs, despite their name, originated in the United States. They are smaller than most modern breeds of domestic pig, so they are not used for commercial farming. Their small size and placid temperament makes them ideal for small family farms.


Nigerian dwarf goat (Capra hircus)goats

On exhibit: The two male goats who currently live in the zoo's farm exhibit are Oreo and Tommy. I bet you can guess by his color which is oreo! They are both 10 years old.

Diet: Herbivore; grazer

Average life span: 15-20 years

Height at shoulder: 17-23 inches (43-58 cm)

Average weight: 75 lbs (34 kg)

Origin: Originally from western Africa, these goats were brought to the US as food for zoo animals! Now they are a popular breed for dairy hobbyists because they produce a lot of milk for their size. 



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- Alan, Watertown, NY