About the Zoo
The region’s leading family destination and one of the area’s foremost conservation organizations, Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. Leveraging its platform as America’s first zoo, Philadelphia Zoo is working double-time to educate more than 1.2 million annual visitors about animal and environmental conservation via a first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration trail system, called Zoo360, that offers animals more room to roam, and KidZooU -- a new KidZooU children’s zoo and education center that serves as a model for children’s zoos nationwide.
Zoo360 is designed for a wide variety of species, and delivers unprecedented animation and animal interaction. Small primates are swinging and strolling their way through mesh canopies in the treetops as part of the Treetop Trail. Large primates are enjoying new, elevated vantage points via Gorilla Treeway. Big cats – lions, tigers, pumas, jaguars and more –will be on the move like never before with the opening of Big Cat Crossing. And gregarious meerkats are digging, running and looking out from their ground-based system called Meerkat Maze. The innovative animal trail initiative enhances the quality of life for the animals, giving them the chance to travel longer distances and explore a greater variety of environments. At the same time, it transforms the Zoo visit for guests, evolving beyond the traditional experience of viewing animals in one-dimensional exhibits. More and more, as visitors move around Philadelphia Zoo, the Zoo moves around them. Truly, Philadelphia Zoo is well on its way to becoming the world’s first fully- animated zoo.
Back on the ground, Philadelphia Zoo invites young learners and lifelong learners alike to experience the newly opened KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center, which focuses on domestic rare breed animals. A year-round destination, the outdoor portion of KidZooU is brimming with activity, from pigeons flying overhead, to the barnyard and stables where kids can pet and brush sheep, and a towering goat bridge and children’s climbing structure that offers parallel play opportunities. Indoors, guests can marvel at a world teeming with coral reef fish, colorful parakeets and other extraordinary animals. Conservation stations, programming and interactive exhibits show visitors how saving energy and recycling can help save wildlife. What’s more, KidZooU features L.E.E.D. and universal design, making it both sustainable and accessible to special needs communities with signage in Braille, sign language and a picture exchange system for children on the autism spectrum and very young children, as well as audio and tactile elements. A visit isn’t complete without checking out our new baby western lowland gorilla, giraffes, hippos, polar bear, white rhino, zebras, red pandas, Amur tigers and more or exploring our 42 acre Victorian garden and experiencing award-winning exhibits like KeyBank Big Cat Falls, PECO Primate Reserve, McNeil Avian Center. Philadelphia Zoo is the second highest ticketed attraction in the region.
Every Zoo visit is an opportunity for guests to connect with wildlife and be inspired to conservation action. The Zoo’s national and international science-based cooperative zoo breeding programs serve as a safety net for species threatened with extinction in the wild. Among them, the Zoo’s amphibian conservation program is making a potentially species-saving impact among endangered frogs from the Andes and the Caribbean. These and other award-winning education and conservation programs, coupled with state-of-the-art animal exhibits and scientific accomplishments, make Philadelphia Zoo one of the world’s most renowned zoological societies.