Celebrating Wildlife: Honoring American Zoo Day

Celebrating Wildlife: Honoring American Zoo Day

Happy American Zoo Day!

July 1st is celebrated every year as American Zoo Day. This is to commemorate the opening of the Philadelphia Zoo, the first zoo that was ever established in the United States. For those that may not know the history of the Philly Zoo:

“A zoo of firsts, Philadelphia Zoo has been a leader since opening its historic gates on July 1, 1874. (Its charter was signed on March 21, 1859, but due to the Civil War the opening was delayed for 15 years). Responsible for the first successful orangutan and chimpanzee births in the U.S., being the first zoo in the world to build an on-site animal care center, developing the first specially-formulated foods for zoo animals, and opening the first Children’s Zoo in the U.S., Philadelphia Zoo has always been an industry leader, setting standards for animal care and guest experiences.” This is remarkable organization is “home to more than 1,700 rare and endangered animals, the Zoo continues to reach new heights, offering award-winning animal exhibits, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, award-winning education and conservation programs

I can’t help but wonder what the anticipation was for those who started, developed and established the first Zoo in America. Did they even begin to imagine where zoos and the world of conservation would be 165 years later? The impact of zoos and conservation facilities have brought animals from the brink of extinction such as the black-footed ferret (to name one of the many), re-established native species, saved ecosystems, and protected native habitats and those that call them home.

As the 5th oldest zoo, Ross Park Zoo opened in 1875. It is an honor to follow behind the leadership of these amazing facilities as we all work hard to push conservation efforts forward.

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