Party animals on the prowl at Philly’s Marriott
When it comes to protection and preservation of nature and its inhabitants, Philadelphians and suburbanites have a great track record as witnessed at a recent gala held to keep feeding the coffers for the city’s highly acclaimed zoo.
Many things associated with the City of Brotherly Love have had their origins here before expanding elsewhere, but a standout among them arose in a bend along a curve of the Schuylkill River. Located just a tad north and west of the downtown area, in what has come to be known as the Centennial District, the Philadelphia Zoo (PZ) was the first of its type to be recognized as a “true” facility where animals could be seen up close and personal.
Slated to open its doors and grounds at the end of the 1850s, the proposal was thwarted by the arrival of the Civil War and would actually take another 15 years for the idea to come to fruition. Though delayed at that juncture, PZ has more than made up for it in the ensuing decades by creating not just a safe haven for creatures, but also by providing a highly regarded botanical atmosphere in which to see them.
In addition to its outstanding reputation for being able to breed in captivity, the first of which feats came just before the Great Depression, PZ keeps searching and coming up with ways to enhance the lives of its inhabitants and those who come to see them. One of its recently well received, as well as award winning attempts, has been through the innovation and implementation of what’s known as Zoo 360. It’s an overhead trails surrounded by mesh netting which allows animals, big and small, to get from one side of the park to the other while still being “caged.”
PZ is open to the public all but five days of the year and is now gearing up for some special events. During the month of December there are two opportunities to celebrate the holiday season by attending a Breakfast with Santa or Zoo Noel. For dates and times visit the website at philadelphiazoo. org.
Dan Slack of Villanova discusses all the new updates to the Zoo with Grete Greenacre of Malvern and her husband, Martyn.
Malvern resident Sandra Baldino catches up with her neighbors, John Goodman and his wife, Virginia Funk.
Bryn Mawr denizens Ann Calvert and Jody McNeil are among the first “party animals” to arrive.
Event committee member Jim Buck of Haverford (right) gives Ned Montgomery and Anika Warren of Drexel Hill a run down on all the recent updates to the Zoo.
Conservation Impact awardees Raj and Kamla Gupta of Newtown Square are congratulated for their outreach by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
Wendy Calhoun of Haverford and Patty Slack of Villanova (right) get a lesson in zoology from the gal who knows, veterinarian Donna Ialeggio.
Always a gentleman, Bill Buck of Bryn Mawr escorts Louise Reed of Villanova to her table.