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Portals Bridging Our Love for Wildlife

April 1, 2024

Portals Bridging Our Love for Wildlife

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Meghan Heiser Meghan Heiser

As the Manager of Admissions and Parking at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, I am constantly thinking about the evolution of our park – what it was like when it opened in 1899, and how it has changed and grown in the last 125 years. I also think about our ticket booths and what transactions were like then and now.

My job focuses on getting guests into our beautiful park to enjoy the animals, scenery, and everything else the Bronx Zoo has to offer. I like to call coming through our gates, “the first impression of our zoo”. As I stand at our four entrances each day, I can’t help but marvel at the change. Gone are the days of cashiers selling paper tickets (inset above, guests entering the Bronx Zoo’s Children’s Zoo during its first season in 1941.) Today, it is all about cutting-edge technology, and admitting guests into the park as quickly as possible with a barcode scan on their smartphones.

The transition over the years symbolizes our technological leap, blending conservation with convenience. To me, it’s more than just a gate to enter the Bronx Zoo. I see it as a portal bridging our love for wildlife (above, prairie dog in the Children’s Zoo) with our love and need for the digital age.

We aim to make the zoo experience not just about animals but a fusion of nature and innovation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: During 2024, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is celebrating 125 years. Since opening its doors in 1899, more than a half billion visitors have come to the zoo to experience the awe and beauty of animals and the natural world.

Nikon D6

Bronx, US Map It


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