Q. How close is the Zoo to downtown New Bedford?
A. The Zoo is approximately 2 miles from downtown New Bedford. Our staff will be happy to point you in the right direction if you’d like to head there after your visit.
Q. Is there someplace nearby I can eat?
A. The Bear’s Den Café offers a full lunch & snack menu. It features a stunning 1,200-square-foot wildlife mural and has a beautiful view overlooking Buttonwood Brook and our deer and bison exhibit. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. Please be aware that the Cafe hours are reduced in the winter.
Q. Is the train and carousel operating?
A. The Black Bear Express Train and Wildlife Carousel are open everyday, weather permitting. You can call
(508) 991-6178 prior to your visit to find out if the rides are running. Both the train and carousel are ADA certified, making them wheelchair accessible for children and adults.
Q. Is Emily the elephant still at the Buttonwood Park Zoo?
A. Yes, Emily is still here and is thriving. Emily is currently 53 years old and the 12th oldest elephant in an AZA accredited zoo. She is joined by Ruth, 59 years old, in our newly expanded Asian elephant habitat.
Q. Can the Zoo take in my pet (ex. turtle, bird, bunny)?
A: The Buttonwood Park Zoo has an Institutional Collection Plan which guides us in our mission and helps determine which animals we exhibit. We get many calls about animals needing placement, and are grateful that people consider us to be a good home for their animals! Unfortunately, although we may exhibit some of the species people have as pets like turtles, snakes, ducks and other domestic animals, we are not able to accept every animal. Please call (508) 991 – 6178 with any animal related inquiries.
Q: I found an injured/orphaned wild animal, can I bring it to the Zoo?
A. Unfortunately, the Buttonwood Park Zoo does not have the staff or resources to provide care and rehabilitation for injured/orphaned wildlife. We realize it’s hard to leave an injured or orphaned animal, but that is the best thing to do – let nature take its course. If that just isn’t possible, then the next step is to contact a Massachusetts licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Three local options in Massachusetts include the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth and the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable. You can access the full list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators here.