About Us

Who are the Friends of the Bergen County Zoo?

The Friends of the Bergen County Zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing financial support to the Bergen County Zoological Park for the welfare of its animals, educational programs and family-friendly facilities. It is the generous support of our sponsors, donors, members and zoo visitors that allow us to meet this mission. 

The Friends of the Zoo is honored to partner with Bergen County to support this beautiful zoo for the educational and recreational enjoyment of the citizens and visitors of Bergen County.

2020 Friends of the Zoo Board

Catherine Ross, President

Elisa Wares, Secretary

Mari Vella, Zoo Director

Meg Tedeschi

Russ Holmgren

If you have any questions, please contact the Zoo Office, (201) 634 - 3100, or email us at:

What is the Bergen County Zoo?

The Bergen County Zoo is a “New World” zoo, exhibiting wildlife fromNorth and South America. You have the unique opportunity to view such rare and unusual species as Baird’s Tapirs, Andean Condors, American Alligators, Golden Lion Tamarins, South American Pampas, and many others.

The Bergen County Zoo provides a clean, aesthetically-pleasing facility that meets or exceeds the physical, environmental, and behavioral needs of the animals in its care. The goal of the zoo is to develop and maintain exhibits which emphasize natural behavior, encourage longevity, and promote breeding success. 

Our AZA accredited zoo actively participates in wildlife conservation endeavors through captive breeding programs and research projects and supports conservation efforts throughout the world. The zoo provides a unique and effective educational experience that fosters an appreciation for the interrelationships between the animals and their environments. It provides an enjoyable recreational experience for the residents and visitors of Bergen County.

The Friends offers Zoo Memberships that provide special benefits for its members, including free admission to the zoo and discounted or free admission to reciprocal zoos across the country.  Additionally, Zoo Membership entitles members to special member only events and the ability to purchase tickets in advance of the general public to highly anticipated events such as Zoo Boo.

The Friends of the Zoo is honored to partner with Bergen County to support this beautiful zoo for the educational and recreational enjoyment of the citizens and visitors of Bergen County. 

The Friends thank the Docents for their volunteer service that makes the Bergen County Zoo such a wonderful place to visit. 


Here at the Bergen County Zoo we believe that animal preservation is key for future success. No Animal should go extinct especially if it because of poachers, deforestation, or global change. Every year we find communities that help animals thrive in the wild and keep them off the endangered species list. 

The Bergen County Zoo was the first zoo in New Jersey to be accredited by the association of zoos and Aquariums. Being part of this club demands high standards that ensure we are properly taking care of our facility. The Bergen County Zoo was last accredited in 2018 and will reapply in 2023

Being part of the prestigious association will allow our member's to receive discounted or free admission to other zoo's and aquariums. It is best to call ahead to ensure they are accepting our membership at the time.

The Nature Program Cooperative

The Nature Program Cooperative brings together the knowledge and resources of nature centers, parks, and environmental educators in northeastern New Jersey.

Please click the image to your left to go to their website.