Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Zoo: The Region's Animal Destination for Programs, Education and Conservation

Diana Dopheide

About

The Philadelphia Zoo has been recognized as a popular destination for people of all ages to visit and expand their knowledge about many different types of animals, including rare and endangered species.

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Amur Tiger and VisitorPhiladelphia Zoo

Exhibits

Across the Zoo’s 42-acre campus, numerous displays and exhibits are available including African Plains, Bear Country, Penguin Post and Reptile and Amphibian House to name a few.

Zoo360

While walking around the zoo, you will be able to see animals walking above you on a transparent mesh trail across campus. This allows the animals to wander around and for guests to see more animals during their visit.

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Zoo 360 TigersPhiladelphia Zoo

Watch the Vimeo video about Zoo360 here.

Meet Your Favorite Animal

Although currently not in operation due to COVID-19 guidelines, guests will soon have the option to once again reserve an exclusive meet-and-greet with select animals and their caregivers. In the meantime, gift certificates for future sessions are available for purchase.

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Parent and Child Visiting BirdPhiladelphia Zoo

The following animals participate in the meet-and-greets: Giant Tortoise, Big Cats, Giant River Otter, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, White Rhino and Humboldt Penguin. Each meet-and-greet lasts for 20 minutes and is appropriate for ages 5+ with a maximum of six guests in attendance.

More information about each animal and booking can be found here.

Big Time

The Philadelphia Zoo launched their latest exhibit BIG TIME back in March presented by 6abc. Guests have the opportunity to experience dinosaurs’ habitats dating back 66 million years.

Attendees will learn about how the Earth and climate changed overtime and how animals either adapted or went extinct due to volcanoes, asteroid strikes, sea level rises, increased amounts of sunlight and human interference.

In BIG TIME, guests will see 24 full-sized model dinosaurs from the prehistoric era in addition to modern species of animals such as the Sumatran Rhino, a Polar Bear, and an African Elephant, each advocating for the more current issues that are affecting their species, such as the endangerment to habitats, warming global temperatures as a result of climate change, and putting an end to the animal trade, respectively.

Guests will have the option to help these animals by taking home and gardening native plant species’ seeds that will provide a pollination source for Monarch butterflies. Attendees can also mail a postcard or e-sign a petition to address animal extinctions. Lastly, guests can mobilize federal and global leaders to protect 30 percent of lands and oceans by 2030.

In order to attend, guests must purchase their tickets in advance for admission and to enter this special exhibit for both guests and members.

While visiting BIG TIME, guests can grab a bite to eat at the Zoo’s latest food establishment, Dino Bites. Other restaurants are also available.

Philly Zoo to You

With more than 160 years of knowledge, Philly Zoo to You offers numerous learning activities for teachers and students to learn about living and endangered plants, animals and their habitats. More information and downloadable materials can be found here.

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HippoPhiladelphia Zoo

Science at Home

The Philadelphia Zoo can be found on the app, Zigazoo. This application was formed by teachers and parents for additional supplements while learning remotely. The link to download can be found here.

Events

The Philadelphia Zoo offers private daytime events that guests can reserve for birthday parties, family reunions, corporate meetings and family picnics.

The Zoo also offers private evening events that guests can reserve to enjoy a dinner and cocktail hour with the following venues: Peco Primate Reserve, Rare Animal Conservation Center, Impala Plaza, KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children's Zoo & Faris Family Education Center, Keybank Big Cat Falls and McNeil Avian Center.

Guests can also plan a fundraising event at the Zoo with the following options available: fun runs, one mile walks, competitive 5K races and community days.

More information can be accessed via their website for pricing and to plan an event.

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Amur LeopardPhiladelphia Zoo

Conservation

The Philadelphia Zoo advocates for the protection and conservation of animals nearing extinction, such as amphibians, in particular, frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. Other animals include the Guam Kingfisher bird and Rodrigues fruit bat.

More than one third of amphibians are at risk due to habitat loss and climate change. Another factor that affects their survival is a lethal skin fungus specific to amphibians in which they have no resistance to. In order to help, the Philadelphia Zoo has bred Panamanian golden frogs who have not been seen in their natural wild habitats since 2007, as well as partnered with the Amphibian Ark and the Amphibian Survival Alliance to conduct and share research.

The Guam Kingfisher bird is bordering extinction due to a harmful brown tree snake in their natural habitats. The remaining population of this type of bird can only be found in zoos. The Philadelphia Zoo has a breeding program in which Guam kingfishers are brought up and cared for with the intention of eventually bringing these birds back into the wilderness one day.

The Rodrigues fruit bat population has been destroyed as a result of deforestation and the introduction of domestic animals on the island of Rodrigues in the southern Indian Ocean. Between 1976 and 1979, a few select bats were gathered to begin the on-site breeding program to curb the extinction at the Philadelphia Zoo. By 1982, the population steadily increased.

The UNLESS Contest

At The Philadelphia Zoo, K-12 students can participate in the The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation UNLESS Contest. Each year, students take actionable steps towards enacting conservation efforts for various wildlife species and putting a stop to environmental issues.

The program has received the National Innovation Education Award at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Annual Conference in recognition for its curriculum and actions.

More information about the program and how to register can be found on their website.

Membership

By being a member of the Philadelphia Zoo, guests get access to exclusive events, programs and special perks such as free parking and being the first to see the latest exhibits and trails.

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GiraffePhiladelphia Zoo

More information about memberships and pricing can be found here.

Hours, Directions and Parking

Hours: Through September 6: Saturday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Friday 9:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. Advance online reservations required for all guests, including members.

September 8 through October 31: Open Wednesday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday

Directions: Philadelphia Zoo is located at 3400 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The Zoo is just two miles from downtown Philadelphia and public transportation is available using SEPTA, which runs bus and trolley routes to the Zoo area.

Parking: Cost: $17 (free for members – one car per membership) Zoo parking is available in several lots and the Zoo Parking Garage along both Girard Avenue and 34th Street. Handicap spaces and spaces for vans are available in both Tiger Lot and the Parking Garage.

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Diana Dopheide is a communications graduate from Penn State University. She is an aspiring journalist who loves to write and takes great pleasure in being able to share interesting stories with the local community. Her features include outdoor activities, community and lifestyle news in Greater Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA
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