Upstate New York has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to zoos to visit.  This is a list of 15 to put on your bucket list.  But, we have made a slight change.

This list covers not only zoos, but also animal sanctuaries, animal and bird rescue farms, animal adventure parks, and more.  All are open to the public and they cover the area from the Catskills to the Adirondacks and all the way out to Western New York.

The selection of animals you can see up close is amazing.  Look at some of these pictures.  You have to admit these places have some of our favorites to see.  Like the majestic American Bison, or the heart-pounding sight of an American Bald Eagle in full flight.  But wait.  How about an octopus?  Or a Tennessee fainting goat (what are they all about!)?  Or a boa constrictor?  Or a baby red panda?  Or spider monkeys?  Well, you get the idea.  And lions, and tigers?  Giraffes?  Yes.  Elephants?  Yes.  They are all on this list and all are fascinating.

Each entry has a link to the animal venue for you to find out more information for a summer trip.  And look at the end of the list.  Items #15 and #16.  These are two special places.  One is perhaps the most famous zoo in the United States, and the other is a wonderful, nostalgic trip back to our youth.

And remember, almost all of these are not-for-profit organizations and they rely on visitors coming through their front gates.  So gather up the kids and take the family to any of these wonderful animal locations.  They will love it.

And, by the way, what are those Tennessee fainting goats doing?  Really?

'Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My)' at These 15 Great Upstate New York Zoos

This is a list of many Upstate zoos, animal sanctuaries, animal rescue farms, and adventure parks where the whole family can visit and get close to nature and mingle with some of the most impressive animals anywhere.

Read More! NY's 12 Smallest Counties and Why You Should Visit Them

There are 62 counties in the state of New York. The largest (by population) is Kings County (Brooklyn). It has a population of 2,726,002 people. But, there are far more smaller counties in the state than larger ones. This list takes a look at the smallest counties in New York, with all of them in some region of Upstate New York. Even though they are sparsely populated, each has a few places that any NYS road warrior might want to stop at and explore. So here are the 12 smallest counties (by population as of 2010) in the state and what you might find on a visit to each of them

More From WZOZ