Channel 6 ZooBalloon returning for a final season

PHILADELPHIA - March 21, 2014

Last month Philadelphia Zoo implemented a controlled release of the helium in the Channel 6 ZooBalloon due to irreparable damage from unprecedented weather conditions. Despite efforts to minimize the impact of the heavy volume of snow this winter, immediate deflation was necessary to ensure safety.

"The Channel 6 ZooBalloon was not only an iconic part of the Philadelphia skyline for more than a decade, but it also marked another innovative first for Philadelphia Zoo as the only tethered helium balloon in an American zoo at the time of its introduction," said Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO, Philadelphia Zoo. "The positive responses and moving farewells our guests have shared since the balloon's deflation were heartwarming, and we are thrilled to give them one more opportunity to make a lifelong memory."

"Since it first took flight in 2002, The Channel 6 ZooBalloon has been a source of immense pride - not just for all of us here at 6abc, but for Delaware Valley residents and Zoo guests alike," says 6abc President and General Manager, Bernie Prazenica. "In the words of so many of our viewers...this is no ordinary balloon; it is a unique and treasured piece of the Philadelphia skyline. Now, we are proud to put that missing piece back in its place, and to give Zoo guests the chance to Soar Once More." The balloon will be inflated on Friday, March 28th and will operate daily from April through October, weather permitting. The balloon will be illuminated from the inside using three 400-watt metal halide lamps. This popular attraction allows Zoo guests to rise to heights of 400 feet overlooking giraffes, zebras, rhino and more of the Zoo's majestic wildlife. From above the treetops, guests can enjoy spectacular, one-of-a-kind views of Fairmount Park and Center City. Voyages last approximately 10 minutes are $15 per person or $50 for a family 4-pack. Children under two and Family Deluxe Members ride for free.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit


America's first zoo and one of the region's foremost conservation organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. The Philadelphia region's leading family destination, the Zoo welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors last year. The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on the Philadelphia Zoo, to become a donor, member or to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.


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