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Wild green Bronx

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“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning,” sportscaster Howard Cosell famously said during a 1977 Yankees game, as footage aired of a building in flames near the stadium. An epidemic of arson plagued the city at the time.

New York is a different place now, billed as America’s safest big city and attracting a record 46 million tourists last year.

Many of those tourists are repeat visitors, and “their appetite for something other than Times Square and the Statue of Liberty is enormous,” said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., who got an enthusiastic reception talking up the Bronx at a recent tourism conference in Berlin.

GREEN SPACES: Sure, the Bronx Zoo has wild animals from around the world, including a new exhibit called Madagascar.

But for native wildlife, check out the Bronx River, which runs alongside the zoo. Turtles sun themselves on rocks, a red-winged blackbird calls, geese march by the shore.

On a recent day, a wayward duckling hopped out of the water and drew a crowd, attracting more attention than a nearby buffalo exhibit.

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