Philadelphia Zoo’s Signature Fundraiser Zoo-A-Thon Returns on March 17-18

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events

Philadelphia Zoo is excited to engage its community of supporters, members, guests and fans in a two-day fundraising campaign, raising money for the Zoo’s robust animal enrichment program on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18. During those 48 hours, the Zoo will be accepting donations through calls, texts and online, and will be hosting a number of onsite activities for guests to take advantage of, including artwork created by our animals and by mural artists from VURT Creative to celebrate the importance of wildlife and art in all our lives. Other activities will include big cat feeding pole enrichment, rabbit painting at KidZooU, reptile keeper chat, bear country keeper chat, Andean Bear peanut butter feeding on glass, alpaca and goat walks, red panda feeding, penguin keeper chat and feeding, rabbit obstacle course, gorilla keeper chat and more. Zoo hours during the Zoo-A-Thon are 9:30am to 5:00pm for the general public. All activities in Zoo-A-Thon are free and included with the regular cost of a ticket for either of these two days. Zoo members enjoy free admission to the Zoo, and tickets for non-members are $16 each for adults and children ages 2+ (through April 1st). For tickets, to make a donation and other information, visit https://www.philadelphiazoo.org/events/zoo-a-thon/

“We provide specialized care to our 1,900 animals each and every day,” said Vice President of Animal Well-Being Rachel Metz. “That care includes feeding scientifically formulated diets to each individual animal, targeted and preventative veterinary health services and daily enrichment to exercise both the animals’ bodies and minds. Enrichment is vital to animal well-being, and encourages the animals in our care to demonstrate the natural behaviors these animals show in the wild.”

“The impactful work of Philadelphia Zoo is not possible without the support of our donors,” says Chief Development Officer Neil Batiancila. “Each donor is a partner in our mission to create joyful discovery and inspire action for animals and their habitats. All gifts make a difference.”

As an integral part of providing exceptional animal care, animal enrichment offers a creative outlet for physical activity and mental exercise, offering more choices for animals on how they spend their time. A few examples include puzzle feeders that encourage animals to forage for food; climbing structures that enhance habitats and provide exercise opportunities; and training sessions where animals can interact with keepers— which for some includes painting!

The Zoo’s dedicated team of keepers has trained some of our animals, including Wesley the Velveteen lop rabbit, to paint as a part of their enrichment programs.

Onsite Schedule for Zoo-a-thon Days:
(all are subject to change without advance notice)

FRIDAY, MARCH 17TH
10:00am- Rare Animal Conservation Center Keeper Chat & Puzzle Feeders with Francois Langurs
10:00am- Big Cat Feeding Pole Enrichment at Big Cat Falls
10:00am- 2:00pm- Artists from VURT Creative painting murals on Impala Plaza & Wolcott Plaza
11:00am- Press Event: Rabbit Painting at KidZooU
11:00am- Reptile House Keeper Chat
11:15am -Bear Country Keeper Chat & Andean Bear Peanut Butter Feeding on Glass
11:30am- Alpaca or Goat walk from KidZooU
12:00pm- Domestic Rat Enrichment at KidZooU
12:30pm- Red Panda Feeding at Water is Life
1:00pm- Penguin Keeper Chat & Feeding at Penguin Point
1:30pm- Big Cat Milk Feeding in Zoo360 Trail Behind Tiger Terrace
2:00pm-Rabbit Obstacle Course inside KidZooU
2:30pm- Gorilla Keeper Chat at PECO Primate Reserve
3:00- Bird Feeding Inside McNeil Avian Center Rainforest

SATURDAY, MARCH 18TH 
10:00am- Rare Animal Conservation Center Keeper Chat & Sloth Feeding
10:30am- “Mini” big cat feeding pole enrichment inside Big Cat Falls
11:00am- Reptile House Keeper Chat
11:15am -Bear Country Keeper Chat
11:30am- Alpaca or Goat walk from KidZooU
12:00pm- Giant River Otter Feeding at Water is Life
12:30pm- Red Panda Feeding at Water is Life
1:00pm- Penguin Keeper Chat & Feeding
1:30pm- Big Cat Milk Feeding in Zoo360 Trail Behind Tiger Terrace
2:00pm- Golden Lion Tamarin & Saki Monkey Feeding Inside PECO Primate Reserve
2:30pm- Gorilla Keeper Chat at PECO Primate Reserve
3:00- Bird Feeding Inside McNeil Avian Center Rainforest

WALLS OF THE WILDLIFE ALPHABET PROJECT
Artists from VURT Creative will be at the Zoo from 10:00am – 2:00pm on Friday, March 17th to create two unique artworks. One will be a 4 ft. by 8 ft. break apart canvas depicting the iconic Philadelphia Zoo sign in a brand-new light. Visitors can win a piece of this work by donating any amount to Zoo-a-thon using the QR codes on campus. Another artist, Evan Lovett, will be painting the final piece for the “Walls of the Wildlife Alphabet Project,” a project by VURT Creative. 

Through a series of 26 animal paintings, one for each letter of the English alphabet, Lovett demonstrates what can happen to all the species featured in the paintings: they could disappear forever, without our help. Each mural has been painted on the same surface, and is covered over to begin the next one. While these immersive pieces only physically exist for a very short time, they will be shared on the Walls of the Wildlife Instagram page and supported by the Zoo. In addition to images of each finished mural and videos of the painting process, the Zoo has assisted in creating educational and inspirational content that tells the stories of the amazing animals.

WAYS TO DONATE
Onsite: Scan any QR code around the campus during your visit on Friday & Saturday and donate any amount to enter to win a one-of-a-kind painting created by VURT Creative
Online: philadelphiazoo.org
Text: Text keyword “PhillyZoo” to 24365
Call: 1-888-PHI-Zoo8 (1-888-744-9668)

SPECIAL INCENTIVES
Gifts of $75 or more will be automatically be entered to win the first-ever art collaboration between human and animal artists at the Zoo.

Scan any QR code on campus during your visit on Friday & Saturday and donate any amount to enter to win a one-of-a-kind paint by VURT Creative

Gifts of $25 or more to Zoo-a-thon 2023 will qualify for the following incentives:

$25 – Entered to win one (1) Family Deluxe Membership
$50 – One (1) Zoo tote bag
$100 – One (1) Zoo tote bag, (1) Zoo tumbler, and one (1) mystery zoo animal plushie
$250 – One (1) Zoo tote bag, one (1) Zoo tumbler, one (1) mystery zoo animal plushie, and one (1) Zoo baseball cap
$500 – One (1) Zoo tote bag, one (1) Zoo tumbler, one (1) Zoo baseball cap, and one (1) priceless animal photo* (*This one-of-a-kind 8×10 photo of an animal who calls Philadelphia Zoo home is limited to the FIRST 150 gifts of $500+)

For more than 164 years, Philadelphia Zoo has served as one of the area’s most important destinations, welcoming millions to experience rare and endangered wildlife, be inspired to action for animals and habitats, while making lifelong memories with friends and family. Serving as the region’s largest living classroom for generations, the Zoo offers a place of learning for hundreds of thousands of school children each year, providing a glimpse into their impact on the world.

ABOUT VURT CREATIVE
Visual Urban Renewal & Transformation is a 501©(3) non-profit charity based in the Greater Philadelphia area. Formed and supported by local artists and advocates alike, we aim to bring art, inspiration, and hope to areas often overlooked. We believe in the power of public art, and believe that decorating our world with inspiration and beauty can bring about true change, motivation, and hope.

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