NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "This has always been the zoo in my backyard," said Eric Donovan. "And it's just been so cool to watch it grow and evolve and just become this amazing thing that it is today."
Donovan, who started as a pony ride attendant at the Elmwood Park Zoo in 2004, has since become its Chief Operating Officer. The community hub for family fun and animal welfare was first established in 1924.
For its 100th anniversary, the zoo laid out a bold plan for evolution and transformation. It includes a new state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, welcome center, tiger and Asian exhibits, a new bridge, bison and North American habitats, education building, south entrance, parking expansion, and more.
"We started a 20-year master plan just a few short years ago," said Donovan. "And with the help of some really amazing generous donors, it fast-tracked our 20 year plan to just a few short years."
Elmwood Park Zoo was closed in January and February 2023 to break ground on construction and create a new entrance, gift shop, and alpaca exhibit. Since reopening, the zoo has enjoyed plentiful visitors from families and schools alike.
"When we opened back up, you know, everybody flooded back in," said zookeeper Tim Dirksen. "And it was this kind of outpouring of showing how much the community really loves being here and we love having them out here."
Families can enjoy a daily giraffe feeding, a goat-centered petting zoo, and other exhibits featuring bald eagles, an ocelot, and much more.
The Elmwood Park Zoo is now open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Guests can find the main entrance by driving towards the Norristown Softball fields from Harding Boulevard or W Johnson Highway/Route 202.
To learn more, visit their website.
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