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The rare and endangered animals that inhabit N.J. zoos

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The rare and endangered animals that inhabit N.J. zoos


By Erin Petenko | For NJ.com

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on June 19, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated June 19, 2016 at 7:57 AM


Every zoo has some basic animals — deer, monkeys, snakes and penguins.


But only Turtle Back Zoo has a komodo dragon, the largest living lizard, able to attack water buffalo and even take down a human.


And only the Liberty Science Center has a sugar glider, a bug-eyed possum that flies from tree to tree with furry wings looking for fruit.


We gathered data on exotic animals found in New Jersey's 11 zoos and aquariums to find the most common and the most rare species featured as of February 2016.


The zoos held 2,903 animals and and 639 types of animals, 118 of which were considered dangerous species. There were:


217 types of reptiles;

188 types of mammals;

150 types of birds;

84 types of amphibians.


The most common types of animals were turtles, frogs, snakes, and tropical birds. Owls, lizards, and porcupines are also commonly featured. The animals present in highest total numbers included deer, baboons, antelopes, and penguins.




The Siberian tiger, also called the Amur tiger, once roamed in large numbers in East Russia, China, Mongolia, and Korea, but poaching has threatened its numbers. Recent estimates suggest there are about 500 left in the wild. They are fierce hunters, known to prey on deer and even attack bears. You can find them at Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari in Jackson.


The zoos held about 13 species of endangered animals, protecting them from dwindling population numbers in the wild. Click through the gallery above to view photos of endangered species in New Jersey zoos.


Six Flags in Jackson held the most total animals, 853, followed by Adventure Aquarium in Camden (570) and Cape May County Park and Zoo in Cape May (310). Cape May Zoo and Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange were the most diverse zoos, with 149 and 105 different types of animals, respectively.


Some well-known animals were surprisingly rare. The hippopotamus, a large water-dwelling African mammal, was only kept in Adventure Aquarium. Six Flags was the only zoo that had elephants. This could be a reflection of the logistical difficulties of accommodating the animals in captivity.


For more information on New Jersey zoos, check out the websites of the 11 zoos studied:


Adventure Aquarium in Camden

Bergen County Zoo in Paramus

Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May

Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton

Jenkinson's Aquarium in Point Pleasant

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City

James McFaul Environmental Center in Wycoff

Popcorn Park Zoo Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Lacey Township

Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari in Jackson

Space Farms Zoo in Wantage

Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange


In addition, you can visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website for information about accredited institutions.


Animal facts are credit to the National Geographic Society and BBC Nature.



Source: NJ.com



This is the first time (at least in a long time) that I have seen the Safari's current animal population posted - 853 animals.

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Although the focus isn't fully on our safari, it's nice to bring awareness to endangered and theretened animals which is safaris goal.


I wonder if the 853 was counted or written before or after the recent baby boom, and they just keep coming.

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