Connie Chin

Connie Chin

Published: 16 Sep 2023


Philadelphia Zoo is not just your average zoo. It is a captivating place that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this historic zoo is home to a diverse range of animals from all over the world. But there is so much more to discover beyond the exhibits and enclosures. In this article, we will delve into 20 fascinating facts about Philadelphia Zoo that will amaze and inspire you. From its rich history to its groundbreaking conservation efforts, from its innovative exhibits to its commitment to education and research, there is no shortage of intriguing details that make Philadelphia Zoo a must-visit destination for animal enthusiasts and nature lovers. So, let’s embark on a virtual journey through the captivating world of Philadelphia Zoo.

Table of Contents

The Philadelphia Zoo is America’s first zoo.

The Philadelphia Zoo, located in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, holds the distinction of being the first zoo in the United States. Established in 1874, it has a rich history and has been a leader in wildlife conservation and education for over a century.

The zoo is home to over 1,300 animals.

With a diverse collection of animals from around the world, the Philadelphia Zoo provides a unique opportunity for visitors to observe and learn about a wide range of species. From majestic lions and tigers to playful primates and exotic reptiles, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the zoo.

The Philadelphia Zoo is a leader in conservation efforts.

Committed to preserving wildlife and protecting endangered species, the Philadelphia Zoo actively engages in conservation initiatives both locally and globally. Through breeding programs, research, and partnerships with other organizations, the zoo helps ensure the survival of vulnerable animal populations.

The zoo offers special behind-the-scenes experiences.

For those looking for a truly unique zoo visit, the Philadelphia Zoo offers behind-the-scenes experiences and encounters with some of its animals. From feeding giraffes to meeting a keeper, these experiences provide a deeper understanding of the animals and their conservation needs.

The zoo is known for its innovative exhibits.

The Philadelphia Zoo takes pride in its innovative and immersive exhibits that provide a naturalistic environment for the animals. The award-winning Zoo360 system allows animals to move along trails and bridges, giving visitors the opportunity to see animals up close and in motion.

The zoo has a primate reserve.

The PECO Primate Reserve is one of the highlights of the Philadelphia Zoo. It is home to a variety of primates, including orangutans, gorillas, and lemurs. The reserve aims to educate visitors about the importance of primate conservation and the challenges faced by these remarkable creatures in the wild.

The Philadelphia Zoo is involved in research and education.

As a leading institution of animal research and education, the Philadelphia Zoo is dedicated to advancing knowledge about wildlife. From studying animal behavior to conducting conservation research, the zoo plays a vital role in contributing to the field of zoology.

The zoo hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

From seasonal celebrations like Boo at the Zoo during Halloween to special exhibits and performances, the Philadelphia Zoo offers a year-round calendar of events for visitors of all ages. These events provide entertainment, education, and a chance to support the zoo’s conservation efforts.

The zoo has a botanical garden.

In addition to its animal exhibits, the Philadelphia Zoo boasts a stunning botanical garden that showcases a wide array of plant species. Visitors can explore beautifully landscaped gardens and learn about the important role that plants play in supporting biodiversity.

The zoo offers educational programs for all ages.

Whether you’re a student, teacher, or simply curious about the natural world, the Philadelphia Zoo offers a range of educational programs. From guided tours and workshops to summer camps and distance learning, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and engage with wildlife.

The Philadelphia Zoo is a pioneer in animal welfare.

Recognizing the importance of providing high-quality care for its animals, the Philadelphia Zoo has been a pioneer in animal welfare practices. It continually strives to create environments that meet the physical and behavioral needs of its residents while promoting their overall well-being.

The zoo supports field conservation projects.

Through its Conservation Science department, the Philadelphia Zoo supports field conservation projects around the world. From protecting endangered species to rehabilitating habitats, these initiatives help safeguard the natural world and its diverse ecosystems.

The zoo has a children’s zoo.

Designed for younger visitors, the KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo is a specially curated area that provides interactive and educational experiences. Children can get up close to animals, engage in hands-on activities, and learn about the importance of wildlife conservation.

The zoo offers membership benefits.

Becoming a member of the Philadelphia Zoo comes with a range of benefits, including unlimited zoo admission, discounts on food and merchandise, access to special members-only events, and more. It’s a great way to support the zoo and enjoy year-round visits.

The zoo participates in species survival plans.

The Philadelphia Zoo actively participates in Species Survival Plans (SSPs), which are collaborative efforts among zoos to manage and conserve threatened or endangered species. These plans help ensure the long-term viability and genetic diversity of these vulnerable animal populations.

The zoo has a dedicated team of animal care professionals.

Behind the scenes, the Philadelphia Zoo has a dedicated team of animal care professionals who provide expert care to the zoo’s residents. From veterinarians to keepers, these individuals work tirelessly to ensure the health and well-being of the animals.

The zoo is committed to sustainable practices.

The Philadelphia Zoo follows sustainable practices throughout its operations, from energy-efficient buildings to responsible waste management. By minimizing its ecological footprint, the zoo demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship.

The zoo offers interactive animal encounters.

Visitors to the Philadelphia Zoo can experience interactive animal encounters, where they have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s residents. From feeding and grooming to training sessions, these encounters offer a unique behind-the-scenes look at animal care.

The zoo has a volunteer program.

The Philadelphia Zoo’s volunteer program provides individuals with the chance to contribute their time and skills to support the zoo’s mission. Volunteers play a valuable role in various areas, including education, visitor services, and animal care.

The zoo continues to expand and evolve.

With ongoing improvements and expansion plans, the Philadelphia Zoo remains at the forefront of modern zoo design and visitor experiences. Through its commitment to excellence, the zoo ensures that future generations can continue to learn, connect, and be inspired by the wonders of the animal kingdom.


Philadelphia Zoo is not just a place to see animals, but a place full of rich history, conservation efforts, and engaging experiences. From being the first zoo in the United States to featuring innovative exhibits, the zoo has continually evolved to provide education and entertainment to visitors of all ages.

With its wide range of animal species, interactive activities, and commitment to wildlife conservation, Philadelphia Zoo stands as a significant landmark in the city. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to the Philadelphia Zoo is a captivating experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the animal kingdom.


1. How old is Philadelphia Zoo?

Philadelphia Zoo was established on March 21, 1874, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States.

2. What are the zoo’s operating hours?

The Philadelphia Zoo opens daily at 9:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM.

3. Can I bring food and drinks into the zoo?

Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the zoo, but there are various restaurants and concessions available throughout the zoo for your convenience.

4. Are strollers and wheelchairs available for rent?

Yes, strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent at the zoo’s main entrance.

5. Are there any special events or exhibits at the zoo?

Philadelphia Zoo offers a range of seasonal events and exhibits throughout the year. It’s best to check their website or contact the zoo directly for the most up-to-date information.

6. Is there parking available at the zoo?

Yes, Philadelphia Zoo has parking facilities available for visitors. There may be a parking fee, so it’s advisable to check their website for current rates.

7. Can I bring my pets to the zoo?

No, pets are not allowed inside Philadelphia Zoo, with the exception of service animals.

8. Is the Philadelphia Zoo wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the zoo is wheelchair accessible, and they also provide accessible programming and services to ensure all visitors can enjoy their visit.