Overview

Throughout its history, the Philadelphia Zoo has focused on educating the public about exotic animals, promoting and participating in worldwide conservation efforts for endangered wildlife, and providing exceptional recreational opportunities for families.

Today, the Zoo is reaching new heights in all areas of our mission as a conservation, education and recreation organization. Our state-of-the-art animal exhibits and health-care facilities, award-winning education and conservation programs, recreational opportunities, guest services, scientific accomplishments and historically significant venue make the Philadelphia Zoo one of the world's most renowned zoological societies and gardens. The Zoo is also the Philadelphia region's leading family attraction, welcoming more than 1.2 million visitors a year.

The Zoo uses all of its unique and compelling features to inspire people of all ages to action and leadership in support of wildlife conservation. 

Mission

By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.

Some exceptional features of the Philadelphia Zoo include:

  • More than 1,300 rare and exotic animals from around the world; 42 acres of picturesque Victorian gardens and historical architecture.
  • PECO Primate Reserve: Designed to tell an extraordinary story of species survival through interactive exhibition, PECO Primate Reserve features ten species of primates including Sumatran orangutans, lowland gorillas, lemurs, langurs and gibbons.
  • The Rare Animal Conservation Center: Interactive graphics and up-close views of some of the world's most endangered animals showcase the Philadelphia Zoo's role in many species survival programs. Giant Rodrigues fruit bats, naked mole rats and blue-eyed lemurs are just a few of the animals to see.
  • The Reptile and Amphibian House: Featuring the Zoo's newest interactive adventure path to see giant tortoises up-close and personal, this state-of-the-art facility exhibits over 125 species of amphibians and reptiles including the venomous king cobra. Each day an electrifying thunderstorm is the backdrop to the story and status of American crocodiles and alligators.
  • A family of six rare and playful giant otters exhibited in the U.S. are featured at Carnivore Kingdom. Carnivore Kingdom also houses snow leopards, red pandas and clouded leopards in unique naturalistic environments.
  • The first Zoo in the North America to open a special zoo just for children. Today's Children's Zoo features a petting yard and daily live animal shows.
  • Some of the most popular African species: sable antelope, Mhorr's gazelle, reticulated giraffes, hippos and zebras and exotic South American animals.
  • The Animal Health Center. Behind the scenes at the Philadelphia Zoo stands one of the nation's busiest and most comprehensive animal hospital and health-care facilities.
  • Unique and interactive recreational opportunities such as the Amazon Rainforest Carousel, giant Swan Boat rides, camel, pony and draft horse rides, interactive adventure paths, zookeeper talks and much more.
The Zoo offers hundreds of educational programs and family workshops, special public events, ecotourism travel opportunities, ADOPT-an-animal programs, Zoo memberships and exclusive retail opportunities that support and promote the Zoo's mission to inspire all who participate to action and leadership on behalf of wildlife conservation.

The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is the leader in establishing and maintaining high standards for zoos and aquariums through an accreditation process. Accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of an institution's operation including the animal collection; veterinary care; physical facilities; safety; security; finance; staff; governing authority; support organization; involvement in education, conservation, and research; and adherence to AZA policies. To be accredited, an institution must be a permanent cultural facility which owns and maintains wildlife, is open to the public on a regular basis and is under the direction of a professional staff. Accreditation takes place every five years and is required for zoos and aquariums to be members of AZA.