Philadelphia Zoo Debuts New Baby Gorilla

Baby gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Zoo

Aww! The Philadelphia Zoo today unveiled its new baby gorilla to the public. If you can believe it, this baby animal is pretty cute.

The new gorilla was born on August 26th to Honi, the zoo’s 21-year-old female, and 31-year old Motuba. It will be given a name with the help of zoo visitors and followers of the Philadelphia Zoo on social media. May I suggest Harambe II? Harambe was killed on May 28th. There is no evidence to the contrary that this gorilla is not the reincarnation of Harambe, the popular meme and Wildwood boardwalk t-shirt. I dunno, just a thought.

The zoo reports the baby gorilla and its mother are doing well. “We are very excited to welcome Honi’s new baby,” Zoo COO Dr. Andy Baker said in a release. “The Zoo works with the Species Survival Plan breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, whose goal is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability. This birth is an opportunity to engage our visitors in caring about the future of gorillas in the wild.” Read more »

Where All The Animals Are: Find Out With New Philly Zoo App

The interface of new Philadelphia Zoo app, Zoo360insider.

The interface of the new Philadelphia Zoo app, Zoo360insider. Photo by Brian Thomas.

In addition to having a beer at the Philadelphia Zoo, visitors can now track the whereabouts of their favorite aardvark, lynx, or spider monkey. So instead of standing at a trail wondering where all the animals are, the newly released app can help users manage their zoo time according to visitor-logged animal sightings.

The app, Zoo360insider, uses a heat map to trace animals along the zoo’s five Zoo360 trails, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. When a user spots an animal and logs the sighting into the app, a pin drops at the location, and as time goes on, the size and color intensity of the pin will decrease. The larger and more vibrant an animal’s pin, the more likely that animal will still be at the pinned location. Read more »

From the Dept. of Terrible Ideas: Alcohol at the Philadelphia Zoo

Photo Illustration: Alyse Moyer | Photos: iStockPhoto

Photo Illustration: Alyse Moyer | Photos: iStockPhoto

It seems that everywhere you go in Philly these days, a beer garden or other alcohol-serving “pop-up” is oh-so-conveniently nearby. You can have a drink on the 51st floor of a skyscraper, atop the roof of former public school, and at an ever-growing number of other spots around town. In general, this is a good thing, considering the draconian nature of the state’s liquor laws not long ago, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be serving drinks everywhere, and one place that should be alcohol-free is the Philadelphia Zoo. Read more »

The Philadelphia Zoo Is Opening a Beer Garden

Philadelphia Zoo beer garden - The Watering Hole

A plan for the Philadelphia Zoo’s new beer garden, The Watering Hole, which will open in late June or early July. (Courtesy Philadelphia Zoo)

You can now drink at the zoo.

The Philadelphia Zoo began selling alcohol at two stands, Tiger Terrace and Eagle’s Roost, on Memorial Day weekend. But that’s not all: The zoo is planning a late-June or early-July launch for a beer garden, The Watering Hole, which will be adjacent to Eagle’s Roost.

Amy Shearer, the zoo’s Chief Marketing Officer, says the reversal of a longstanding policy came after talking with visitors and Philadelphia Zoo members over the past year. “We talked to our guests and members all throughout the year in many platforms,” she tells Philadelphia magazine. “Through all of these conversations, one thing that our guests had been largely vocal about is that, ‘Hey, the zoo is so great for all ages and families as well but there’s some things that we adults want, too.’”

Outside alcohol remains banned at the park, but beer and wine will not be confined to the sections where they are sold. Guests will be free to roam the park drinking the glass of beer or wine they’ve purchased from one of the zoo’s stands. Alcohol sales are being handled by its food vendor, Aramark, which has a liquor license for the zoo property. Read more »

After Cincinnati Gorilla Killing, Philly Zoo Vows to Review Protocol

Eula Ray, of Hamilton, whose son is a curator for the zoo, touches a sympathy card beside a gorilla statue outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Eula Ray, whose son is a curator for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botnical Garden, touches a sympathy card beside a gorilla statue outside the Gorilla World exhibit. | Photo by John Minchillo/AP

The Philadelphia Zoo will hold a meeting to review safety procedures following the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden this past weekend, Andy Baker, the zoo’s chief operating officer, told the Metro. Read more »

WATCH: Philadelphia Zoo Unveils Baby Lemurs

Four baby black-and-white ruffed lemurs went on display this week at the Philadelphia Zoo’s PECO Primate Reserve. Together with their parents, Huey and Kiaka, the lemur family sits just inside the entrance to the primate house. The babies were born on February 21st, so they’re a little more than two months old.

Everything is going well with the lemurs’ introduction to their new habitat, according to Philadelphia Zoo lead primate keeper Desiree Brown. They haven’t been startled by all the visitors, and the they’re eagerly exploring their enclosure.

“They are actually learning to jump as far as they can,” Brown says. “We kind of kept them in another place that was a little less high, a little less exciting. You’ll notice they’re starting to fly from branch to branch and they’re adjusting great. And the public has not been a problem. We were a little concerned about that and they are doing wonderful. And they’re enjoying watching all the kids and the visitors.” Read more »

WATCH: Four Recently Born Lemurs at the Philadelphia Zoo

Four black and white ruffed lemurs were born at the Philadelphia Zoo last month — and now the zoo has released incredibly cute photos and video.

Kiaka, a 9-year-old female, gave birth to a conspiracy of lemurs — this is possibly the term for a group of lemurs — on February 21st. The father is 10-year-old Huey; it’s the first successful lemur birth at the Philadelphia Zoo. Read more »

11 Things You Might Not Know About: The Philadelphia Zoo

Photo | Mark Gavin

Photo | Mark Gavin, courtesy Temple University Press

Twenty years ago, Philadelphians awoke on Christmas Eve to dreadful news: A fire overnight in the World of Primates building at the Philadelphia Zoo had killed 23 animals, all of them members of endangered species. The tragedy made international headlines. Here, in memory of John, Snickers, Samantha, baby Maandazi and all the rest, are 11 things you might not know about the nation’s first zoo, courtesy (again) of James McClelland and Lynn Miller‘s new book, City in a Park. Read more »

Watch: The Country’s Oldest Polar Bear Eats Her Birthday Cake at Philly Zoo

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo

On Wednesday, personnel and guests at the Philadelphia Zoo gathered around the polar bear exhibit to celebrate the birthday of Coldilocks. The female polar bear turned 35 this week, holding tight to her title as the oldest polar bear in the United States.

Part of the celebrations included treats, of course: a three-tiered ice cake covered in peanut butter, nuts and raisins, and a couple hollow pumpkins to knock around. Onlookers also treated her to a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday,” with kids and parents alike chiming in. It was all captured by the zoo in the video below:

Read more »

Oldest Polar Bear in the U.S. Celebrates the Big 3-5 Tomorrow at Philadelphia Zoo

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Tomorrow morning the Philadelphia Zoo and its guests will gather to celebrate the birthday of Coldilocks the polar bear. The old lady is turning the big 3-5, with a cake and a birthday song.

Coldilocks is celebrating the extra year for many reasons — the most important of which is bragging rights. She is the oldest polar bear in the United States, far surpassing the 23-year average lifespan of polar bears in zoos. She’s been living in Philadelphia for most of her life, three decades. Like many animals the Zoo keeps, polar bears have been classified “vulnerable” due to increased threats from climate change and the resulting shrinking of polar ice.

Read more »

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