Since 1969, the ZooQuarium has been a Route 28 landmark. Who can resist waving to Martin the Bear as they pass by? Formerly known as the Aquarium of Cape Cod or Aqua Circus, the Zoo was originally built to house tropical fish and dolphins. Eventually, a petting zoo was built and the dolphins were replaced by California sea lions. Over the years, past visitors may also remember ‘Bert Quackerback,’ the piano playing duck or may have lost a game of Tic-Tac-Toe to a chicken! In 1989, the Aqua Circus family made a conscious decision to focus on and feature non-releasable, Massachusetts wildlife, and renamed the facility ZooQuarium. Now, forty plus years later, the Zoo has evolved from a roadside menagerie of exotic animals into a refuge for Massachusetts wildlife, an aquarium, petting zoo, Children’s Education Center, and a good community neighbor.
Each year the ZooQuarium educates and entertains over 75,000 visitors and 25,000 school children. We provide learning opportunities both on and off-site with an extensive educational animal collection and professional educators. During our Zoorific Theater Program, visitors have the opportunity to meet and greet some of our smaller animals. Favorite Zoorific themes include Native Wildlife, Invertebrates, Reptiles, and Turtle Herds. Inside Bird Stadium, our visitors can attend a Birds of Cape Cod Presentation to learn about some of our non-releasable feathered friends. Off-site we provide programs for community events, pre- and elementary schools, and birthday parties.
To further increase our educational reach, we have special events scheduled throughout the season. In the summer we are visited by Rainforest Reptile Shows and their traveling Team Rainforest Trailer . This state of the art trailer is home to over 50 different invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles from all over the world. In addition to viewing the animals inside the trailer, our visitors get to meet world renowned reptile experts, Michael Ralbowsky and Joaney Gallagher. Our animal favorites during their visit are ‘Creole’, the RARE white alligator, and ‘Fred’, a 6ft American alligator. In the Fall, we offer Boo-at-the-Zoo! This event is presented with the help and direction from our local Girl Scout troops. Families and friends join us in their costumes and have a super wild time. Activities include face painting, games, arts, crafts and special animal programs.
As a family-owned and operated private Zoo, every dollar received through admission fees goes towards running the facility. This includes animal care and feed, maintenance, staff, electricity, research and development, advertising, and taxes. In addition to everyday expenses, the ZooQuarium also supports local PTOs, libraries, civic and service organizations, as well as community members with both monetary and in-kind donations.
As we move towards the next decade, we are exploring aquaculture and eel grass propagation with the help of local environmental organizations. In our education department, we are increasing our services to our preschool visitors, solidifying our relationship with our local Girl Scout Troops, and expanding our volunteer base to provide more learning opportunities for our visitors.
ZooQuarium is now open year round. Visit today, see how we’ve changed. Visit often! Help us move towards the future. Support a local landmark!