Turtle Back Zoo

Discover the “world in your backyard” at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, which offers a look at more than 120 different species of native and exotic animals from five continents. 

Photos courtesy of Essex County 

Located in West Orange, N.J., Turtle Back Zoo is committed to providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation, so that present and future generations are inspired to understand, appreciate, and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things.

The zoo features a wide variety of themed areas including African Adventure, Sea Turtle Recovery, Sea Lion Sound, Touch Tank, Amazing Asia, Penguin Coast, Big Cat Country, Wolf Woods, Reptile House and Wild New Jersey.

Other attractions include a Treetop Adventure Course, Miniature Train, Prehistoric Playground, Pony Rides, an Endangered Species Carousel and Butterfly Tent.

Turtle Back Zoo also offers a variety of educational programs, including week-long summer camps for children entering kindergarten and grades 1-8. Campers will be introduced to the extraordinary world of animals, nature, and science, and enjoy age-appropriate themed camps that include games, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes visits, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science, and fun crafts.

Turtle Back Zoo is a facility of the Essex County Parks Department and is funded by the County of Essex as a service to the residents of the county and the surrounding areas. The Zoological Society of NJ, Inc., the fundraising branch of Turtle Back Zoo, is a nonprofit organization that helps to raise funds for improvements to Turtle Back Zoo. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which places it among the elite zoos and aquaria of the United States and means that it adheres to the highest standards for zoos in the country.

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange. It is open daily from 10am to 4:30pm. For more information, call 973.731.5800 or visit the website at www.essexcountynj.org/turtlebackzoo.