There’s a 900-Pound Gorilla Sculpture Made Out of Car Hoods at Philadelphia Zoo

"Blue Gorilla" by Don Kennell

“Blue Gorilla” by Don Kennell

The Philadelphia Zoo is home to a whole new crew of creatures, thanks to a new exhibit comprising animal sculptures made with recycled, renewed, reused and repurposed materials.

“Second Nature: Junk Rethunk” is on display now at the Zoo. Twelve artists from across the globe got together to make the 70 eco-friendly artworks that are made out of everything from burned-out spark plugs and recycled plastic bottles to wads of chewing gum.

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Zoo’s African Plains Project a Step Closer to Being Realized

A rendering the upcoming Gorilla Treeway, an extension of the Great Ape Trail.

A rendering the upcoming Gorilla Treeway, an extension of the Great Ape Trail.

Who says Philly’s homo sapiens are the only ones seeing changes in their habitat? PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas reports Wednesday saw the Art Commission give conceptual approval the Philadelphia Zoo’s African Plains project, one of six in there Zoo360 plan, a campus-wide trail system that will allow Zoo residents “more exciting and enriching experiences,” while maintaining their safety.

According to the Zoo360 plan on the Zoo’s website, four of the projects have already been established (Treetop Trail in 2011, Great Ape Trail in 2012, KidZooU in 2013, and Big Cat Crossing in 2014). The 300-foot Gorilla Treeway is set to open this May, while the African Plains project is expected to open in 2016, provided they get the official go-ahead.

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Are Zoos Inhumane?

Last month the Philadelphia Zoo announced plans to build a “Gorilla Treeway” for its primates, to allow them to swing from branch to branch to branch inside caged walkways outside their “enclosure,” a.k.a. cage. The Gorilla Treeway joins the Big Cat Crossing as the zoo’s latest attempts to stave off general public recognition that zoos, well, suck.

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18 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Philadelphia Zoo Expands Zoo360 Trail to Include Gorilla Treeway

Via Shutterstock.

The Philadelphia Zoo‘s Zoo360 Program is nothing new: The initiative is a one-of-a-kind series of animal trails allowing various species to roam freely throughout the Zoo’s campus to explore a variety of environments and travel longer distances. Last year saw the opening of Big Cat Crossing, but this year the gorillas get their chance at a little extra elbow room. In the spring, the Zoo will revamp its Great Ape Trail to include a Gorilla Treeway, an enclosed network of walkways that allow the beasts the chance to explore the grounds—and animals and spectators—from high up in the trees. A rendering of the project:

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Fifth Annual Global Conservation Gala

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, November 13, 2014 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue.

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, on Thursday at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The gala honors individuals, families and organizations for extraordinary contributions to wildlife and the natural world.

This year’s gala spotlighted the issues facing gorillas in the wild, addressing the impact of climate change and palm oil on endangered species. The gala also officially launched 2015 as the “Year of the Gorilla”, a zoo-wide commitment of resources designed to mobilize action on behalf of gorillas.

Joanna McNeil Lewis was recognized for her contributions and 27 years of volunteer work with the zoo, and was honored with the Conservation Impact Award. Gerry Ellis was recognized with the Global Conservation Prize.

Photos after the jump »

Zooballoon Gets Third Life, Will Return in 2015


The Philadelphia Zoo announced on Wednesday the Zooballoon will be back in 2015. The Zoo said that after “complex insurance negotiations” they and Channel 6 have confirmed a new Zooballoon will be coming to the site next year.

This is actually the second time the Zooballoon has been saved this year. After 5 to 10 tons of snow accumulated on it this winter, the Zooballoon was never expected to fly again.

But thanks in part to the mayor, the Zooballoon returned for “one last year”, going up in early spring.

And now it’s coming back again! You couldn’t have designed a better marketing plan to make Philadelphians care about the Zooballoon. I imagine the Zooballoon becoming one of those furniture stores that advertise on UHF stations — it’s always going out of business. I want to celebrate the Zooballoon’s return every year.

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8 Halloween Events in Philly That Are Just For Kids

Painting pumpkins at last year's Fall Festival + Spooky Saturday on East Passyunk Avenue.

Painting pumpkins at last year’s Fall Festival + Spooky Saturday on East Passyunk Avenue.

We’ve already told you about all the spooky, ghoulish events around the city this month, but what about the little trick-or-treaters? There’s plenty of kid-friendly Halloween fun in Philly, too, and we’ve rounded it up for you.

Boo at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Boo at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Boo at the Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo hosts two weekends of not-so-scary activities so kids can celebrate Halloween in costume with their favorite zoo animals. There will be live music, food, games, and more, all included with general admission. October 18th and 19th, and October 25th and 26th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Girard Avenue.

Halloween in Manayunk
Enjoy a family movie night on Friday, October 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the newly opened Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center. Trick-or-treat along Main Street and head to Fall Fest on Saturday. Most activities are free and open to the public. Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, times and locations vary

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