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Zoo patrons, West Orange residents, and even a former Planning Board member have been complaining about limited parking at the Zoo for years. Those complaints continue to fall on deaf ears. A contributing factor to parking issues? Parking for swan boats, pedal boats, security barrier storage, pallets of stone, & more.
Bring your children to the Africa-themed Turtle Back Zoo, and stop in at the Zanzibar Cafe for beer & wine! Perhaps hyenas and giraffes look cooler with a buzz?
Essex County prides itself on the Turtle Back Zoo, while many West Orange residents say enough is enough. Traffic, parking, pedestrian safety, animals that don't thrive in NJ climates... West Orange is not Orlando, and residents don't want a Disney in their back yard.
Help give the Zoo animals a voice, and lend a hand to West Orange residents, friends, and family. Please consider signing the TBZ Petition. Thank you!
Anthony Puglisi (County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo's spokesperson) presented the latest news about the Turtle Back Zoo's expansion. He answered questions sent to him by Councilman Joseph Krakoviak, West Orange's primary Township Council inquirer on matters involving the Zoo Expansion and the impacts it has on residents. (From traffic, environmental impacts, and noise, to costs, safety, and transparency.)
Essex County is spending millions to upgrade the Turtle Back Zoo.
Location: Turtle Back Zoo Education Center, 560 Northfield Ave., W.O.
OGWO states: "The Zoo is now on the verge of becoming both a nuisance and a danger. With 900,000 annual visitors in 2017, the traffic is now noticeable.
Trees have been planted to replace those that have been cut down for zoo expansion, but they are too close together. One cannot replace a forest ecosystem with trees scattered in traffic areas. The South Mountain reservation was not meant to be developed, it is a reserve.
We are also concerned about the potential for accidents to both pedestrians, visitors, and to the animals themselves. Limited sidewalk and parking options for visitors, poor shuttle service, loss of parking spaces for entrance expansion, seating for persons with disabilities, traffic entanglements on a busy and major thoroughfare, loss of trees and reservation land, and so many rare animals out of their native environments and in the hands of accident-prone humans.
We need to focus on protected land for animals to run free and live normal lives, not be traded, transported or exhibited to the public.
Please consider attending Freeholder meetings to share your thoughts on the Zoo's expansion, attend Town Council Meetings to share your concerns during public comment, write the County Executive, and sign the petition stating that the ZOO IS BIG ENOUGH.
WO does not need $900,000 spent on flamingos - we need $900,000 spent on safety and protection of our natural environment!"