- For other uses of Central Park Zoo, see The Real Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo is a zoo set in the middle of Central Park in New York City. It is the former home of Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, the penguins, Mason and Phil.
Situated in Central Park, the Central Park Zoo was host to a number of various animals from around the world, with its chief attraction being the famed Alex the lion, who had been rescued as a cub from being adrift in a crate at sea. Having seen a number of various animals through the years, the Central Park Zoo was ultimately emptied of a zebra named Marty, along with Alex, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippopotamus, four penguins and two chimpanzees. These animals that escaped were captured and packed up into crates and sent to a wildlife reserve in Africa. En route to the reserve, however, the ship carrying the crates was hijacked by the penguins, who managed to escape and pilot the ship and all its creatures, excluding Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria, whose crates had fallen out of the ship, to Antarctica, where the penguins would be free. The crew was bound up and sent on a slow lifeboat to China.
Later, the ship was reported missing and former fans of Alex the lion returned to the zoo to leave flowers and light candles in mourning for the loss of their favorite lion, whom they all believed to have perished.
Long afterward, Alex returned to the zoo, along with Gloria, Marty, Melman, and a lemur named King Julien, only to be captured by Monaco Animal Control Capitaine Chantel Dubois, and returned to their cages, except Julien, who had managed to escape and send for help. Alex and the others were broken out of the zoo, though not before suffering a chase by Dubois, who had broken through the exhibit containing the cobras and attempted to kill Alex for his head, which she would mount on her wall as a trophy. Alex and the others managed to escape, however, and Dubois ended up within the cage that Alex was kept in.
Throughout the zoo were a number of animal displays, which accommodated various species. The exhibits all were tailored to fit the needs of the animals that resided within them.
During the days in which Alex was the star attraction of the Central Park Zoo, the lion pen was built especially for him. Sealed off by brick walls, the lion pen had a large rock within it that Alex was famous for climbing on and roaring for zoo patrons’ entertainment. Along with this, the lion pen also had a heat lamp under which Alex would sleep at night. The lion pen was set lower than the zebra, hippopotamus and giraffe pens and walled off by brick walls and fences. Atop the rock was a small fan that could be activated with the press of a button, made for Alex to wave his mane with. On either side of the pen were two small sparkler cannons that would set off sparklers when Alex roared.
Next to the lion pen was the zebra pen, in which Marty resided. The zebra pen was sealed off by a low brick wall and iron fences, and contained a treadmill for Marty, which faced a mosaic mural of wildlife in Africa that Marty would view constantly. The zebra pen was covered with grass and had a water trough and a section of cement floor onto which keepers placed bales of hay. The zebra pen was situated facing the Reptile House, the residents of which thoroughly disliked Alex and Marty speaking too loudly.
The hippopotamus pen was close to both the lion and zebra pens, and housed Gloria. The hippopotamus pen was built with a pool of clear, chlorinated water, which Gloria would enjoy swimming in, as well as an underground section through which zoo patrons could see Gloria swimming from behind a glass wall. Surrounding the pool of water was a bare concrete floor.
The giraffe pen was set near the lion, zebra and hippopotamus pens and housed the giraffe Melman. Inside the enclosure was a tall brick structure with wrought-iron gates that Melman used as a restroom. Inside of the pen was an MRI machine and an operating table, as well as a sign asking zoo patrons to be quiet when near the giraffe enclosure.
Polar Bear Pen
The polar bear pen was the residence of Ted the polar bear, and was situated near the zoo entrance. Fixed with a pool of cold water for the bear to swim in, the pen was painted to resemble ice and snow. Overlooking the pool of water was a single ledge that Ted would recline on when he was unhappy. At the end of the pen were three rounded doorways that were also decorated with more painted surfaces.
The camel pen was set to the side of the ostrich pen and contained two camels, Nick among them. Sealed off by wrought-iron fences, the camel pen was surrounded by grass and its floor was kept dry.
The ostrich pen was located to the side of the camel pen and housed two ostriches. The bottom of the pen was, as with the camel pen, kept dry and the pen was separated from zoo patrons with a wrought-iron fence.
The penguin enclosure was set at the middle of the zoo and housed the four penguins Skipper, Private, Rico and Kowalski. Divided from patrons with the use of a short brick wall and wrought-iron fencing, the penguin enclosure consisted of a pool of cold water and a small cement island in its center. Within the island, the penguins resided, its interior being empty.
The Octopus Pool is where the octopus Dave used to live in. It was where Dave performed his tricks. Also, it was the only known exhibit featuring marine animals (excluding the penguins.) The pool has lots of coral, and rocks. It was later replaced by the penguin pool, when the penguins Skipper, Private, Rico and Kowalski arrived at the zoo.
At one point, four metal cages were found in the Central Park Zoo, all cornering the penguin exhibit. The cages contained the chimpanzees Mason and Phil for a time, at least two toucans, nine macaws and an unidentified species respectively. All four cages contained dried trees onto which the animals inside resided. Some time later, once the lemurs were introduced into the zoo, the cages were taken down and replaced with wide, open enclosures in which the chimps, lemurs, flamingos and Marlene the otter were kept.
The chimpanzee cage housed the two chimps Mason and Phil, and was fitted with a large tree for the chimps to climb on. At least during the colder months, the chimpanzee cage was fitted with a furnace for the chimps to keep warm. The chimpanzee cage was set near a trashcan that Mason would dig out of for food and the comics section of the newspaper. The cage was also usually littered with empty cans of root beer that Phil had drunk.
The macaw cage contained nine blue-and-yellow macaws, and was fitted with a tree that the macaws would perch on. To house the birds at night, the cage contained a large birdhouse set on one of the tree’s branches.
The toucan cage housed at least two toucans and had a tree inside that the toucans used as a perch. As with the macaw cage, the toucan cage contained a large birdhouse.
The cage in which this animal resided contained, as did the others, a large tree for it to climb on.
The reptile house was host to various species of reptile and amphibian, among them snakes and lizards. Some of the reptile house tanks were set facing outside.
After the zoo’s main attractions (Alex, Marty, etc.) went missing, the zoo continued to operate, with at least one of its attractions, the Reptile House, remaining open. During this time, one exhibit in particular, the cobra habitat, which housed at least twenty-six cobras, was accessible for viewing by patrons.
Some time later, the Reptile House took in further animals, from a number of snakes of all species to chameleons from the forests of Madagascar. Among the animals that enjoyed a brief stay was the boa constrictor Savio, who was transferred to the Central Park Zoo from the Hoboken Zoo for a number of instances. One animal, a poison dart frog named Barry, was brought over to the zoo in a radioactive container out of fear of his poisonous skin, but kept in a standard glass tank afterward.