-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo announced today plans to open to guests and members on Friday through Sunday beginning September 7th. “We took a concentrated look at the visitation patterns of our guests and members since reopening in July and have realized that it makes the most sense to be open Friday through Sunday. This allows people to schedule their visits around upcoming work and school schedules.” says Vikram H. Dewan, Philadelphia Zoo’s President & CEO. “Typically, during this time of the year, we welcome school groups on weekdays, and that’s just not going to be possible this year,” says Dewan.
The Zoo closed its gates to the public in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While closed, the organization continued to connect with its supporters through an increased online presence with programs like the popular PhillyZoo@2 and PhillyZootoYou and social media interactions on its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms. In July, the Zoo re-opened with new protocols in place to maintain a safe environment for staff, animals and guests alike. “We were happy to welcome guests and members back to the Zoo, and they were happy to be back, but with continuing uncertainties, their outlook and activities have changed. After intense evaluation and many conversations, we knew that to streamline operations to be fiscally responsible we needed to make viable changes, and opening Friday through Sunday is part of that plan,” says Dewan.
Though closed to the public, some Zoo staff will remain onsite to continue providing exceptional care for the animals who live there. During this time, the Zoo will ramp up its online presence. “We plan on even further enhancing our virtual programming,” says Amy Shearer, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer. “We will continue with our mission of connecting people with animals in the most engaging way possible. Stay tuned for a PhillyZoo@2 reboot and other programs that will give an even deeper view of what is happening at Philadelphia Zoo,” says Shearer.
“While closed, support from the public and donors is critical,” says Dewan. “We thank each person for their support and commitment to our organization. Being closed throughout the spring and summer have created significant hardship for this important education and conservation organization – we truly hope we can continue to count on the public’s generosity and care for the Zoo during this time.”
Other ways to support the Zoo include purchasing a limited-edition, Philadelphia Zoo tshirt or hoodie at https://dsgntree.com/philadelphia-zoo, or visit Cameo, a website and app that creates personalized videos starring the Zoo’s famous penguin flock. To support the Zoo directly visit http://www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org/donate.