Admittance to the zoo is BY ADVANCE RESERVATION ONLY.
General Public & Military - Click here for more information
Members Only - Click here for information

African Lion

African Lion

The African lion is the second largest cat, with males weighing up to 550 pounds and females weighing between 260 and 400 pounds.

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Catering at the Zoo
Hours and Admission

NOTE:  Zoo admittance is currently by PRIOR RESERVATION ONLY with a limit of 750 people per day, outdoor zoo and Social Animals wing only. Please visit for instructions on how to reserve a time slot.


To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and our amazing animals and comply with health directives, the following modifications and policies will be in place:

  • All guests will be required to reserve timed tickets for each member of their party through the county parks website or calling the Member Reservation Line before coming to the zoo. No walk-ups will be permitted. This rule applies to zoo members, veterans and military as well as the general public. 
  • Reciprocal zoo members can now book with us through the Member Reservation Line by calling (315) 435-8511 x8589 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Those needing assistance with County Parks Reservations may call (315) 435-8511 X8512 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
  • Membership card or military ID, Photo ID and timed ticket receipt will be checked on entry.
  • We will limit the number of guests entering the zoo to 750 per day to ensure proper distancing. Guests will be welcomed to enter the zoo at timed intervals every half hour starting at 10 a.m. with the last reservations at 2:30 p.m. 
  • Zoo hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the last reservations at 2:30 p.m. Doors close at 3:30 p.m.
  • Early or late arrivals will NOT be accommodated. There will be no re-entry. Please make sure you have everything with you before entering the zoo.
  • ALL visitors, staff and volunteers must wear face masks on arrival to the zoo, throughout their visit and are required for those over age 2.
  • While manual wheelchairs will still be available at the membership desk, there will be no stroller or wagon rental at this time.
  • Only the outdoor zoo and Social Animals building will be accessible to visitorsGuests will need to pass through the lobby directly to the outdoor courtyard and follow signs to tour the Wildlife Trail in one direction only. Please follow markers and signage, and plan to do a walking tour with members of your group only. Please remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other parties.
  • The USS Antiquities cave, Diversity of Birds aviary, and Nocturnal Animals exhibits are still off limits to visitors.
  • Explorer’s Play Space, Explorer’s Outpost and carousel will remain closed for now. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations are distributed along the entire outdoor loop and at each entrance and exit of the building, and zoo staff will perform frequent disinfecting of all public touchpoints.
  • The Jungle Café and Courtyard Café will remain closed for nowVisitors are permitted to bring their own refreshments (no alcohol), but seating is limited to a few tables in the courtyard and benches around the zoo.


Open 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., 362 days a year
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

Note: The zoo is a year-round facility, with 60 percent of exhibits indoors. Outdoor exhibits remain open for the winter and include species chosen for their ability to adapt to our region's climate.


Cash, personal checks with valid ID, Visa, Mastercard and Discover are accepted.


Snow Leopard Days
January & February
General Pricing
      (2 & under)     
$2.00 $5.00
$5.00 $9.00
$2.50 $5.00
U.S. Veterans &
Active Military*


*Effective April 1, 2015: Present U.S. military I.D., Onondaga County FAVOR card, discharge papers or another form of official military identification. Discount applies to the veteran or military member OR military spouse and up to 3 family members, for a maximum of 4 people. Veteran must be present to receive the discount.

**Youth 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult (age 18 or over) during their zoo visit.

School Group Rates

School Group rate requires a prior reservation and is for pre-school-12th grade. This rate also applies to sanctioned youth groups such as scouts, church youth groups, and nursery schools. One chaperone is required for every 7 students.

  • Students - $1.50
  • Adult chaperones exceeding the required number- $6.00
  • Seniors - $4.00
  • Children 2 and under - Free

School groups must make reservations at least two weeks in advance and may do so by calling (315) 435-8511 x8512.

Non School Group Rates

Groups of 20-100 paying visitors

  • Youth (3-17) - $3.75
  • Adults (age 18 to 61) - $6.00
  • Seniors (62+) - $3.75
  • Children 2 and under - Free

Groups of 101-250 paying visitors

  • Youth (3-17) - $3.25
  • Students (16-21 with ID) - $3.75
  • Adults (age 18 to 61) - $5.00
  • Seniors (62+) - $3.25
  • Children 2 and under - Free

Groups of 251-500 paying visitors

  • Youth (3-17) - $3.00
  • Students (16-21 with ID) - $3.25
  • Adults (age 18 to 61) - $4.50
  • Seniors (62+) - $2.75
  • Children 2 and under - Free

Groups of over 500 paying visitors

  • Youth (3-17) - $2.50
  • Students (16-21 with ID) - $2.75
  • Adults (age 18 to 61) - $3.75
  • Seniors (62+) - $2.25
  • Children 2 and under - Free

There are several ways to purchase group rate tickets:

Option 1: All members of the group arrive at the zoo at the same time on the same day. One form of payment is required at the ticket booth at the time of arrival.  Please make reservations for your group by calling (315) 435-8511 x8512 at least two weeks prior to your visit.

Option 2: A representative for the group may take pre-orders and purchase the exact number of tickets needed by the group. The ticket price is based on the total number of tickets purchased and no refunds will be issued for unused tickets.  Payment is made in advance in exchange for tickets which may then be distributed to members of the group. Tickets may be used at any time and do not have an expiration date. To purchase advance sale group rate tickets, call (315) 435-8511 x8512 at least two weeks prior to your visit.


Ample parking is available free of charge at the zoo. If zoo parking lots are full, street parking is available throughout the Tipperary Hill neighborhood and in Burnet Park. Please observe all parking signs and abide by odd/even parking regulations. You will still need to enter the zoo through the main entrance.

Please note: The Rosamond Gifford Zoo does not refund admission or provide "rain checks" due to weather.

Service Animal Policy


The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is dedicated to providing a safe, enriching environment for the animals in our care and all of our visitors.  Service animals that are on-duty or in training are allowed in the zoo with the person they assist or the trainer, in compliance with the Onondaga County Title VI, ADA and LEP Plan. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered and under the control of their handler.

Please keep in mind that as an accredited (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) zoo, we are charged with caring for many critically endangered species, including individual animals that are extremely genetically valuable for survival of the species. As such, we are considered to be a quarantine facility that does not allow pets, comfort or emotional support animals, outside wildlife or even invasive plants to be brought into the zoo.

The majority of zoo exhibits are open and accessible to visitors with on-duty service animals. However, some indoor exhibits are restricted to any outside animal, including service animals, due to a history of animals housed in these areas responding fearfully or aggressively to the presence of an unfamiliar animal, or which could be perceived by the animals as prey or predator.  In order to minimize distress to the animals, please note the following restricted areas: Diversity of Birds, Animal Adaptations and the Social Animals wing. We are happy to provide an escort to take visitors through these areas while another staff member waits outside the area with the service animal.

On arrival, guests with service dogs will be greeted by a senior animal staff member so any questions can be addressed prior to the zoo visit. Service animals are expected not to interact in any way with the animals that live at the zoo.

Please note: Therapy dogs and emotional support dogs are not covered by ADA regulations and are not allowed entry into the zoo. Service dogs in training are permitted with the same restrictions as listed above.  If you wish, you can speak to our staff in advance of your visit by calling us at (315) 435-8511 x8512 and asking to speak to a Duty Officer.




Onondaga County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in employment or the provision of services. Links: Onondaga County's policy, complaint process, and language assistance or disability access issues.