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Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange

4.5
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
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Home to about 850 animals representing 275 species, Turtle Back Zoo welcomes half million people annually to its themed exhibits. See a sea lion tank and prowl along a penguin coastline; tour habitats of large cats, wolves, bears, and alligators; and visit a reptile center. Wildlife aficionados won't want to miss the 2.7 m (9 ft) long lizard that was discovered in 2005 and still has no scientific name. Can foxes fly? You'll find out by seeking out the first flying foxes in any United States' zoo--giant bats that can reach a weight of 1.1 kg (2.4 lb) with a 1.5 m (4.9 ft) wingspan. The zoo is a part of South Mountain Recreation Complex. To visit Turtle Back Zoo and other attractions in West Orange, use our West Orange trip maker tool.
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Turtle Back Zoo reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
861 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The zoo was cleannnnnn. A few of the animals were out in the vet clinic but we still saw a lot more animals, after you've walked around the entire zoo make sure to take a ride on the train. 
    The zoo was cleannnnnn. A few of the animals were out in the vet clinic but we still saw a lot more animals, after you've walked around the entire zoo make sure to take a ride on the train.  more »
  • Have heard about this for years but was under the impression it was a small zoo. If you think the same you are very much wrong! Large open enclosures for the animals. Feed the giraffes. Feed... 
    Have heard about this for years but was under the impression it was a small zoo. If you think the same you are very much wrong! Large open enclosures for the animals. Feed the giraffes. Feed...  more »
  • We had a few hours to kill, and we both had visited the zoo as kids, many years ago. Due to the presence of some avian flu virus not of the bird exhibits were open. While the river otters exhibit was....  more
    We had a few hours to kill, and we both had visited the zoo as kids, many years ago. Due to the presence of some avian flu virus not of the bird exhibits were open. While the river otters exhibit was....  more »
Google
  • This is a great little zoo that has a huge heart for its compact size. When you enter the Zoo you are met with the feeling that the staff care about the animals and that the animals enjoyed their life. The big cats had plenty of room to roam and the smaller exhibits had plenty of enrichment to keep their occupants entertained. The primates were our favorite. They were running around playing with each other and taking turns chasing around each other with a. 5 gallon water jug filled with their snacks. The turtle recovery tanks were well maintained and the cameras added a sense of closeness while still allowing the low stress environment necessary for the animals to recover from their ailments. We absolutely loved watching the cheetah and it's Labrador buddy chase each other around and then enjoy a good nap while cuddled up. You can really tell they enjoy each other's company. It was very sweet. Parking was super convenient and free so no argument there. This really is a must visit zoo for anyone capable. I may modify this in the future to award the 5th star but that won't be until I see how the construction finishes and the remaining animals return to their exhibits.
  • We spent a lovely Autumn day at the zoo. It has been years since I’ve last visited and the changes are huge, all for the good. The layout is well planned so that even crowds never make it seem packed. We even tried the Zip Line! We stopped for a snack and we’re surprised with the quality and reasonable prices at the cafe. Don’t miss the train ride which is included with admission. Plenty of parking is available.
  • This trip was awesome! Parking is free, and close to the entrance. For 1 adult and 3 children (10 and 11yr) I paid $82.07. Bring cash! You can use your card, but for the amenities with-in it's cash mostly. I brought my daughter and her 2 cousins to enjoy some sun and fun with animals. Some exhibits were closed off due to renovations/upgrades. The price was still worth what they did have available. We definitely stayed from open till closing. I let the kids lead the way. Along the paths they have spray nozzles (few feet apart) that give you a mist of water to cool down. The kids really enjoyed that. The best part for us all was the Giraffes. They come really close to you. It's always amazing to see the animals up close. Not too close though....be careful.
  • My friend and I decided to go see the Holiday Lights at Turtle Back Zoo, and we ended up having a lot of fun. This free event is a great way to celebrate the holidays with your family. The train was up and running the entire time for all guests. They played the Polar Express music during the ride, which was awesome. There were food venues set up throughout the zoo in case you got hungry. We even got to see some animals. The lights were beautiful! You should go check it out while there's still time.
  • Amazing experience! The animals are so well taken care of and you can see it in them. Today was a very lively day as far as animal activity! Everyone was up and at it! The employees are knowledgeable and friendly and they give you great information about the animals. It was such a pleasure. The employees in the Savanna Cafe were excellent as well. Everyone was smiling and attentive. Parking is free and ample! The train ride is so enjoyable. There is a lot to see. I love the touch tank!

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