staten_island_zoo Barrett Park, which is now known as the Staten Island Zoo, is located in the neighborhood of West Brighton, near Clove Lake and Sunset Hill. It is situated between Clove Road, Broadway, and Glenwood Place.

In 1930, Julia Hardin willed this property to the City of New York, but under certain terms. These terms were that it would be named after Major Clarence T. Barrett, Hardin's brother-in-law; that it would not be used for a playground; and that her husband, Edward, would be allowed to continue to live in the house on the property. This site used to be the home of Major Clarence T. Barrett, which was where he also operated his plant nursery.

The Barretts were one of the more prominent families living on Staten Island. Clarence Barrett was able to make himself well-known through his landscape architecture and sanitation engineering careers. During the Civil War, he enlisted instaten_island_zoo birds the voluntary military duty and worked his way up the ranks to Major. After the War he returned to Staten Island to continue his careers and become involved with the public services of Staten Island. From 1878 to 1884 he was the Superintendent of the Poor, and from 1895 to 1902 he was the Police Commissioner for the county of Richmond.

Upon the death of Edward Hardin in 1933, the City of New York took over the property to begin building a zoo. Once the plans for the zoo were started, the Staten Island Zoological Society was created. The zoo is operated by both the City of New York and the Staten Island Zoological Society. The City of New York tends to the maintenance and operation, while the Staten Island Zoological Society oversees the exhibits.

The zoo opened in 1936 as the first educational zoo in the United States. Some of the first animals to be donated to the zoo were from the Galapagos Island, donated by staten_island_zoo reptile wingVincent Astor. There were also two Solenodons donated at this time by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Upon opening the animals were kept in sterile cages and exhibits. With the progression of zoos, now the animals are displayed in a natural setting exhibit, which meets the needs of the animals and makes it more appealing to the public. The Staten Island Zoo gained accreditation by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums in 1988, due to its natural setting exhibits.

There have been many additions made to the zoo since it was first opened. In 1970, a children's zoo, designed as a farmyard, was opened to hold lesser-known breeds of farm animals. Along with the children's zoo there was a Children's Center constructed for hands on activities. In the 1980s, the otter exhibit, the aquarium, and the animal hospital were all constructed. In the 1990s, the Tropical rainforest and African savannah exhibits were constructed. Along with other renovations made, some of the most recent are for the carousel astaten_island_zoo  nd the leopard exhibit in 2010.

The Staten Island Zoo has been known for its snake collection since the opening of the zoo. At this time, the zoo's Serpentarium holds at least 39 species of snakes--the largest and most complete collection in the country. The zoo houses over 850 animals and over 200 different species. The Parks Department Enforcement Patrol Officers also house their horses in the stables located in the Staten Island Zoo.

The Staten Island Zoo is home to two famous animals: Staten Island Chuck and Grandpa. Staten Island Chuck is the official Groundhog Day forecaster for New York City. Grandpa is a psychic black-handed spider monkey who has predicted the outcome of some sports events, the Super Bowl Champions, and six out of the nine winners in the U.S. Open Tennis Championship

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