It has taken nearly 13 years, but the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society is about to pay off its loan for the Wildlife Carousel.

That means more revenue from carousel ride ticket sales can go to the many education programs presented at the Buttonwood Park Zoo instead of the bank in the form of loan payments.

Executive Director Sarah Henry says the Zoological Society is one payment away from owning the carousel outright.

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The Wildlife Carousel, "featuring 18 beautifully handcrafted animals and a chariot for additional seating," launched in August 2010 thanks to a $350,000 loan from the Bristol County Savings Bank. Since then, thousands of people from all over have ridden the carousel.

The Wildlife Carousel is ADA-certified, making it wheelchair accessible for children and adults.

Exciting News About New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo Rides
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

For several years I worked part-time as a ride operator at the zoo and witnessed firsthand the joy the Wildlife Carousel and the Black Bear Express trackless train brought to visitors of all ages.

Speaking about the Black Bear Express, a favorite at the Buttonwood Park Zoo for years, the train is being replaced by a new one. Henry tells me a "slightly larger train with an additional car" is on its way.

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Like the Wildlife Carousel, the Black Bear Express is also ADA-compliant.

Carousel and train rides are $3 (one token) per person and can be purchased at the North Woods Gift Store.

There is plenty to see and do at New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo, and now there is some exciting news about the zoo's rides as we prepare to kick off the summer season.

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