Airports and Armadillos: Philadelphia Zoo Teams Up with PHL International to Bring Animals to Airport

Airports and ArmadillosSubmitted Image

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia Zoo’s education team and animal ambassadors are connecting travelers to species from around the globe. The partnership, which started in 2019 and then was paused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now back on a regular schedule to delight travelers and create joyful discovery of animals and habitats.

Each month, the Philadelphia Zoo team will bring in ambassador animals to teach (and surprise) travelers as they wait for their flight, grab something to eat, or simply travel from security to their gate.

Travelers might get to meet a nine-banded armadillo who loves to eat mealworms; a rainbow boa whose skin refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect; blue and gold macaws who love to snack on sunflower seeds; and red-footed tortoises whose conservation status is vulnerable due to overhunting. Bili the prehensile-tailed skink is just one of the many animals you might encounter at PHL International through a partnership with Philadelphia Zoo.

“The airport events are a reflection of the city and by having Philadelphia Zoo, one of the city’s greatest attractions, bring in live animals is an amazing and memorable experience for our passengers,” said Philadelphia International Airport Director of Guest Experience Leah Douglas. “It’s always fun seeing people’s expressions because it’s so unexpected and delightful.”

“The biggest takeaway from this experience is that animals are a universal good,” said Philadelphia Zoo Director of Mission Integration Dani Hogan. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do – seeing a live animal just enjoying themselves in a surprising way is such a genuinely good thing for people to experience.”

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The education team said they’ve had dozens of amazing encounters with travelers who thank them for being there, like a family traveling from the United Kingdom who said learning about the animals made their long layover worth it, to Philly natives who say they haven’t been to the Zoo in years and feel it is time for them to go back.

Keep your eyes peeled for Philadelphia Zoo when you take your next flight! Philadelphia Zoo appearances take place on the stage across from the food court between terminals B and C. Animal lovers can also check out the Zoo’s (@philadelphiazoo) and PHL’s (@phl_airport) Instagram pages to check out their visits as well.

The coming schedule for winter and spring is as follows:

  • Thursday, January 19, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, February 16, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 6, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

For more information about Philadelphia Zoo, visit philadelphiazoo.org. Facebook: PhiladelphiaZoo; Instagram: @philadelphiazoo; Twitter: @phillyzoo.

For more information about Philadelphia International Airport, visit https://www.phl.org/

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