Winter’s over, guys. (We hope.) After what seemed like a million months of dirty snow and black ice, the crocuses are blooming and the birds are singing again. And it’s not just the birds who are happy — from the Bronx Zoo down to the New York Aquarium, animals are getting ready to throw a party in the celebration of Spring.

And lucky you… you’re the official photographer!


On April 26, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the parent organization for the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo, turns 120. To celebrate, they’re inviting New Yorkers on a city-wide photo safari. By completing 120 photo challenges and sharing them on Instagram and Twitter, you can earn the chance to win such prizes as a free trip to the Belize barrier reef, a whale-watching expedition with WCS scientists, or the opportunity to be a sea lion trainer for a day.

To sign up and check out a list of the “120 Ways #NYisWild,” go to, or read below for more details.

Step #1: Sign up at

Start by signing in with your Instagram or Twitter account. Then you can check out your list of 120 photo challenges and plan your safari.

new-york-aquarium-nyiswild-photo-challenges-2761556#NYisWild photo challenges for The New York Aquarium

Step #2: Grab your camera and go

Your list of subjects includes animals and other wild attractions at the Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos, the New York Aquarium, and additional locations around the city (such as the New York Public Library lions or the charging bull statue at Wall Street). Make sure to follow the instructions for each picture!


The Prospect Park Zoo. Guys, I’m totally going to win this contest.

Step #3: Post your masterwork to your Twitter or Instagram account

…whichever account is linked to your account. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #NYisWild followed by the number of the photo challenge. And it’s a good idea to add the park hashtag, too, like #NYAquarium or #ProspectParkZoo.

For example:

new-york-aquarium-nyiswild-twitter-2-5530754It’s hard to look relaxed while taking a selfie with a hyperactive sea otter. #nyiswild #83

Step #4: Track your progress on

You can see all the pictures you’ve taken, all the pictures you have left to take, and which prizes you’ve been entered to win. The more pictures you enter, the more prizes you’re eligible for.

You can also check out the competition by viewing other people’s photos. (I got a head start, so try not to be intimidated.)

With 120 subjects spread across our concrete jungle, there’s a lot of ground to cover, so don’t wait too long to get started. The contest starts now, and ends after Labor Day. Happy hunting… and happy birthday, Wildlife Conservation Society!