KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children's Zoo and Faris Family Education Center at the Philadelphia Zoo

April 9, 2013 11:27:20 AM PDT
A group of local kids got a chance Monday to be the first to see and experience the brand new KidZooU.

KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children's Zoo & Faris Family Education Center is now the largest exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The new zoo has a price tag of 33 million dollars and it is the zoo's largest project in its history and it took 12 years to get the project done.

One youngster gave a big push today to come and see the exhibit.

Neena Heffernan from West Chester, Pennsylvania says, "They definitely should come and see it because you can go and play with the animals and its good for kids."

The Barnyard is a familiar site for those who visited the old children's zoo and it quickly became a big hit.

Michaela Walter, also from West Chester, Pennsylvania said, "I really like the animals and I like how we get to interact with them.

The kids had a chance to meet the goats and other herding animals and two of the newest members of the KidZooU.

There are also two six-day-old Jacob sheep still looking for names.

The zoo even offers a great way for kids to wash their hands and the children really seemed to enjoy the flashy hand washing station.

The word everyone keeps bringing up when talking about this new exhibit is "empathy." They want the children to not only learn to care for animals, but also to learn how to protect them in the future.

A member of the new KidZooU spoke with Action News on the message they hope to bring from the new exhibit.

"We want people to help animals far away and help understand that their choices can have an impact all the way to the Arctic, all the way to Australia," said, Marina Haynes.

There is a huge play gym for children and the goats to climb and an indoor education center, which boasts several interactive exhibits.

The recurring theme at the new zoo is fun in conservation.

Haynes added, "We're pretty excited just because we're getting a chance to really show off an exhibit that is specifically designed for children to participate in."

KidZooU opens to the public on Saturday.

For more information visit the new KidZooU.