West Orange Turtleback Zoo to Host Dinosaurs Rock! Exhibit
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 • 8:40pm
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO INVITES PUBLIC TO VISIT
DINOSAURS ROCK! AT ESSEX COUNTY TURTLE BACK ZOO
Traveling Exhibit to Display Fossils and Pre-Historic Items
on Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th
West Orange, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites the public to experience the wonders of what life was like 65 million years ago when Dinosaurs Rock comes to Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. This exciting presentation features genuine and life-size fossils, pre-historic items and hands-on activities where visitors will learn about fossils and gemstones. This exhibition of giant ancient reptiles is part of Essex County’s year-long celebration to welcome the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest modern day lizard, to Turtle Back Zoo. Dinosaur Rocks will be held as follows:
Dates and Times: Saturday, September 15thfrom 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 16th from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation complex
Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ
“We invite the public to come out and experience the Dinosaurs Rock! exhibit coming to Turtle Back Zoo in September. The zoo is an ideal place to see the animals from around the world and our partnership with Dinosaurs Rock will help them discover animals’ evolution from pre-historic times,” DiVincenzo said. “This is great opportunity to see past and present animals in an exciting and hands-on environment. It’s a great opportunity for us to expand on Turtle Back’s mission to raise awareness about the importance of animals and conservation,” he added.
The Turtle Back Zoo Dining Pavilion will be transformed into a museum with a stunning and diverse arrangement of pre-historic fossils and hundreds of other items. Included in the display will be life size skulls from a T-rex and a triceratops, a nine-foot high Ice Age Mastodon leg, and fossils from a 22-foot pre-historic whale specimen and mastodon. In addition, visitors will be able to dig for fossils in a simulated excavation site and go gemstone mining with a rushing water sluice in a simulated mining activity. There will also be a rock and mineral exhibit with crystal-filled geodes, giant amethyst and citrine towers. Admission to the Dinosaur Rocks exhibit is $5 per person. There is a separate fee for the digging and mining activities. Admission to the zoo is required. The Zoological Society of New Jersey is sponsoring the Dinosaurs Rock exhibit.
Current hours for the Zoo are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children and senior citizens, and free for children younger than 2 years. For more information, please call 973-731-5800 or visitwww.essexcountynj.org.
Revitalizing Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
Currently under construction is the new Sea Lion and Sting Ray Exhibit in the center of Turtle Back Zoo. Building the exhibit will take about one year and its opening will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Turtle Back Zoo in the summer of 2013.
In September 2011, Essex County Turtle Back Zoo received its second consecutive five-year accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is among only 221 facilities worldwide that are accredited. Earning accreditation is a clear indication that an institution is committed to the highest standards in animal care, ethics, conservation and education.
Since taking office in 2003, DiVincenzo has spearheaded over $70 million in upgrades to Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, which have included developing the Treetop Adventure Course with 22 aerial obstacle features and two zip lines; the Carousel with 33 figures of endangered animals; building the Big Cat Country Exhibit with Jaguars and Cougars; Tam-ring Gibbons Reserve with Gibbons apes, Reeves muntjac and white naped cranes; Australian Outback Adventure that features kangaroos, wallabies, emus and over 500 birds in the Aviary; Reptile and Education Center that includes the Komodo Dragon, open air dining pavilion and playground, Penguin Exhibit, Otter Exhibit, Wolf Exhibit, Alligator Exhibit, North American Animal Exhibit, Black Bear Exhibit, Animal Hospital, Essex Farm Petting Zoo and South American Animal Exhibit; renovating the Food Pavilion for year-round use and making upgrades to the entrance as well as fencing and infrastructure to meet AZA requirements. Funding has been provided through Green Acres grants, existing capital improvement bonds, or donations from the Zoological Society, Essex County Parks Foundation, corporations or private foundations. Corporations that have provided support include Prudential Financial, Inc., Wells Fargo (Wachovia Bank), PNC Bank, PSE&G, Verizon, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Coca Cola, Capital One Bank, TD Bank, Aramark, Covanta Energy and OxyMagic carpet cleaning.
The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, Treetop Adventure Course, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Iris Gardens. Turtle Back Zoo is located in Essex County’s South Mountain Reservation and was opened to the public in 1963.