Philadelphia Zoo – About the Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. Cheetahs, hippos, giraffes and much more make the Zoo Philadelphia’s leading family attraction with over 1.35 million visitors last year.
Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first. The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved and signed on March 21, 1859. Due to the Civil War, however, it was another 15 years before America’s first zoo was ready to open.
The Zoo opened its gates on July 1, 1874. The Frank Furness Victorian gates and gatehouses, and the Zoo’s location, are the same today as they were on the day it opened. One of its assets, then and now, is John Penn’s home, The Solitude, which sat on the land chosen for the Zoo. John Penn was the grandson of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. The Solitude is considered to be Philadelphia’s most precise and elegant expression of neoclassical style.
On opening day, flags flew, and a brass band welcomed more than 3,000 visitors. Admission was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, a rate that held for the next half century. Visitors came on foot, on streetcars, by horse and carriage, and every 15 minutes by steamboat on the Schuylkill River, landing at the Zoo’s own wharf. The Girard Avenue Bridge opened three days later. Since the early 1700s, the idea of an American zoo was inspired by English settlers with a keen interest in wildlife and by sailors and hunters who returned from faraway lands with exotic animals they’d never seen before.
Zoo News by Month
Latest Zoo News
- 15 Jul 2018Philadelphia Zoo U.S. First ZooPhiladelphia Zoo – About the Zoo The Philade...
- 12 Jun 2018Myrtle Beach AttractionsMyrtle Beach Attractions For The Whole Family...
- 12 May 2018Marine Life Myrtle BeachMarine Life Found On The Grand Strand Marine Life...
- 01 Apr 2018Kids TriviaKids Trivia and Facts About Animals Kids Trivia: D...
- 19 Mar 2018Best Zoos For Kids and FamilyBest Zoos for Kids and Families Best Zoos For Kids...