In Philadelphia, warm weather signals a slew of summer-worthy activities: water ice, lounging at the Shore, and a mass exodus to Philadelphia Zoo. Trips to the world-class attraction are a year-round activity, to be sure, but something about long, leisurely days and cloudless skies always prompts us to visit the zoo’s newest members — and catch up with longtime favorites. (Hi, guys!)
The latest extension of Zoo360 to catch our attention? Meerkat Maze. Part of Zoo360 (we’ll hit on that in a minute), the exhibit is a collection of paths and mazes that encourage playful meerkats to safely roam and socialize. But Meerkat Maze is just the newest addition to Zoo360, a campus-wide trail system that provides a variety of animals more room to explore, as well as unprecedented vantage points.
The first-of-its-kind attraction has expanded several times since its debut in 2011, and remains a must-see. The paths offer animals more room to explore, new vantage points for visitors and make for healthier, happier animals.
To take in the entire Zoo360 experience (and see as many felines and primates as possible!), you’ll want to go in with a game plan. First, download Zoo360insider available in the app store. It allows you to purchase admission tickets and membership to Philadelphia Zoo, save and upload photos, share animal locations and scope out your favorite animals on any Zoo360 trail. Here’s a handy breakdown of the other four trails that make up Zoo360 to get you started:
- Treetop Trail is an elevated, 1,735-foot trail for monkeys and lemurs that allow them to travel from their habitats in the Rare Animal Conservation Center to the PECO Primate Reserve. Standing 37 feet tall at its highest point, the trail is situated within trees above, so be sure to look up. Little ones, meanwhile, can catch a glimpse in KidZooU, where there’s a climbing tower that offers better views for kids. Animal Watch: blue-eyes black lemur, Bolivian gray titi monkey, red-capped mangabey and white-faced saki.
- Added in 2012, Great Ape Trail is situated near the orangutan exhibit, 16 feet over the visitor pathway (find it here!). An enlarged, climbable pathway that spans 200 feet in length, the trail allows visitors to check out the primates from a new angle as they make their way to each exhibit. Animal Watch: Sumatran orangutan and white-handed gibbon.
- Get your feline fix at Big Cat Crossing. Extending from First Niagara Big Cat Falls to the Zoo’s main visitor path, the 330-foot crossing allows guests to see the zoo cats like never before. There’s remarkable variety on the passageway, so take note of the felines crawling around above. Animal Watch: amur tiger, African lion, jaguar, puma, amur leopard, snow leopard.
- Don’t forget last year’s addition, Gorilla Treeway! Standing 12 feet above the ground and spanning 300 feet, the trail is ideal for Western lowland gorillas who favor long-distance travel. It also provides variety during the day as they mill about the treeway. Animal Watch: Western lowland gorilla.
For more information about Zoo360 or planning a trip to Philadelphia Zoo, click here.