The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo of its kind in the United States and can be found in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The Philly Zoo first opened its doors in 1874, after the close of the American Civil War. To this day, the zoo in Philadelphia remains one of the most successful zoos in the world for breeding animals; particularly endangered species and animals that are typically difficult to breed in the wild. The Philadelphia Zoo also plays an active role in working to protect animal habitats throughout the world and is one of the favorite Philadelphia attractions for children and animal lovers of every age.
The Philly Zoo is also one of the larger zoos in the United States and features a number of interesting and unique attractions. The Dodge Rare Animal Conservation Center features animals and specific species of animals that many visitors may not have even heard of before visiting the zoo in Philadelphia, including naked mole rats, tree-kangaroos, blue-eyed lemurs and many other fascinating species. Another popular exhibit here at the Philadelphia Zoo is the Reptile and Amphibian House, which hosts more than 125 species of reptiles and amphibians and is one of the most popular Philadelphia attractions at this zoo. Carnivore Kingdom is home to groups of animals who love to eat meat and is another of the favorite attractions of the Philly Zoo. Snow leopards, red pandas and other interesting carnivores are found here.
The zoo in Philadelphia is also home to the largest Animal Health Center in the world which treats thousands of animals each year and conducts research. Another of the most popular Philadelphia attractions at the zoo is the channel 6 Zooballoon, which is a helium balloon which is tethered to the ground and rises directly off of the ground to a height of 400 feet, from which passengers can see the zoo below, the Philadelphia city skyline and the Schuylkill River. The balloon ride lasts for about 15 minutes and is priced separately from admission tickets to the zoo itself. Expect to spend about $15 more on your zoo admission ticket to ride the Zooballoon.
One of the newer exhibits at the zoo is the Jungle Bird Walk, which is an enclosed area where guests can walk freely through an area where birds fly freely. An enormous Treehouse is also found here; it costs an extra $1 and is a playground of sorts for children to enjoy. The tree is a large ficus tree and rests at a height of about four-stories. Children can not only climb the tree, but gaze around at the park below from atop the treehouse. The zoo also features a small Children's Zoo which basically functions as a petting zoo with domestic farm animals which small children can pet and sometimes help feed, if they happen to arrive at the right time. Admission prices to the zoo are around $11 for adults and $16 for children. The large parking lot charges $8 per vehicle to park all day.