Hillary Chybinski: behind the scenes at the Philly Zoo. . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

behind the scenes at the Philly Zoo. . .

. . .so on Saturday, we loaded up and headed to the Philadelphia Zoo for their Open House. . .

for those of you not from our area, the Philly Zoo is America's first zoo. . .and it's a wonderful place to visit.  we have been members since ryan was born - so for about 9 years now. . .and it pays for itself every year.

well i got an email about their Open House program, and thought that would be a fun inexpensive (free with membership) outing for the family, so i signed us up.  i figured if it was freezing out - we wouldn't go.  but it was a mild winter day luckily.

the registration set-up was handled very well - there was an area that you could purchase snacks, drinks and coffee while you waited.  you were given a button, and a map with the six special areas highlighted.  the sweet man at the table gave us a tip to go backwards - and start with the last stop on the map to avoid the crowd.

so off we headed to where the giraffes are kept inside. . .behind the African Plains exhibit. . .we all agreed this was not only our first stop - but our favorite as well.  we got to be about 3 feet from the giraffes - and their indoor quarters are very clean and well maintained.  the infomration that the docents and zoo staff provided was incredibly informative, interesting and entertaining.

from there we walked off towards the newly built Avian Center. . .in there we got to go into the area where they have holding areas, incubators, and training and education stations.  did you know they have fake eggs to use if they every have switch out eggs from mother birds? they had to do that during a flood in the penguin area once.

next stop was behind the scenes at Big Cat Falls. . .on our way there, owen got to get up close and personal with one of the tigers - she waled right by him on the other side of the safety glass - he loved it.  the most fascinating part of this for me, was that they had maintained the original carnivore building, that i remember from my childhood.  we also got a wonderful idea for a community service project (i hope to post more on that soon).

after that, we took in the inside area for the giant tortoises - the oldest tortoise there has been at the zoo since the 1930's and the largest tortoise weighs about 500 lbs!

we got to go inside the Veterinary Clinic and see all their laboratories and emergency room.  The things they are capable of doing - are amazing.

the last stop was behind the naked mole rat exihibt. . .all those little spaces that you see onthe front, have boxes and connected tubes behind the scenes. . .so cool.

so if you are a member - i recomend you sign up for this event next year - if you aren't a member, give it some serious thought - the Philly Zoo is a wonderful place to take your entire family.

catch you soon -

btw - i did not receive anything in return for this review - it is purely my own opinion.

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