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Friday, February 24, 2017

Family Fun Day at ZooAmerica in Hershey

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park in Hershey
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is an 11-acre zoo located in downtown Hershey Pennsylvania. The wildlife park is connected to Hersheypark, so if you've paid your admission into the amusement park, you'll have access to the zoo. If you have no interest in visiting the amusement park, you can access the zoo via a separate entrance and pay a reasonable admission fee;

Last weekend we had mild weather here in central Pennsylvania and decided to head to ZooAmerica. Our temperatures topped out at 72 degrees (yes, in February), so it was a great day to spend some time at the wildlife park. Luckily for all of us, ZooAmerica is open year-round.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Parrots

We entered the park via the gift shop entrance and started our tour by checking out some snakes, turtles, the alligator, lizards, skunks, etc. that they have on exhibit in an enclosed building. They keep it dark in there, so if you want to use your camera to obtain photos, you'll need to use a low-flash setting. We spent a good 10-15 minutes in this area learning about the various animals & fish they had on display. After we walked out of the building we saw some colorful parrots, which my little granddaughter enjoyed seeing.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Turtles

We headed to the Desert Southwest Exhibit which is housed in another building and set up to look like the desert. It totally reminded me of the massive land areas located in Arizona and New Mexico. We saw a few owls, turtles, tortoises, roadrunners and other animals that you typically see in the Southwest. They had a few snakes housed in enclosed areas in this building which I totally avoided since I'm not a fan of snakes. We spent a good 10-15 minutes in this building exploring and I enjoyed seeing the desert-dwelling owl and turtles.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Bobcat

After we came out of that indoor exhibit we followed the suggested route markers and came across the adorable river otters (while they're adorable, they do have a foul odor LOL), a few bird species and one of our favorite animals to see on this particular trip...the bobcat! The last we had visited, he/she was napping but this time around...he was wondering around and putting on a show for us!
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

As you walk around the wildlife park you'll find a lot of great areas that you and your family can stop for family picture-taking. We counted at least 5 of these designated areas and if you have children along with you, I recommend taking advantage of them. The photograph above shows my granddaughter posing in one such area located in the park.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

The next area that we visited was called the Bear Experience and in this particular exhibit you'll find the ZooAmerica black bear and brown bear. They live together in a very large and expansive exhibit! In one area of the exhibit is their swimming pool with a plexi-glass wall. You can stand right up against the wall and see the fish swimming around and if you're lucky, you'll catch the bears playing in the pool and trying to catch the fish! On the day that we were there...the two bears were out, but not playing in the pool since it was February.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

The photograph above shows a good portion of the Bear Experience exhibit and I was standing over on the other side of the park to take the photograph. I wanted to give you a good glimpse of how massive their "play area" was and to give you a broader view of this area in the wildlife park.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Prairie Dogs

One of my granddaughter's favorite animals to see during our visit was the Prairie Dogs! Oh my gosh, they have a LOT of prairie dogs running around in this one exhibit. I seriously lost count once I hit twelve and they were all out basking in the sunshine and hunting down some food. If you ask me, they reminded me of over-sized rats and under-sized groundhogs! While they're cute...they sure do like to dig a lot of holes and tear up the property.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Deer

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

If you love deer and elk, they have those on display at ZooAmerica too. There was one particular deer that followed us from one end of their exhibit to the other end. I'm not sure if he thought I smelled good or if he thought I had some food on me to give to him. Regardless, he got right up along the fence and left you get nice photographs of him which was pretty cool to see.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - Snowy Owls

I have to admit...I'm an owl lover and have collected owl items for over 30+ years, so every time we visit any type of zoo...I'm looking for owls! On this particular trip we viewed the Barn Owls, Snowy Owls, Screech Owls and a few others. The reason I'm mentioning this is because if you adore owls, you'll appreciate all of the different species you'll find at this particular wildlife park.

We really enjoyed spending 2 1/2 hours visiting ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park located in Hershey Pennsylvania. It's a small and cozy zoo and great for an afternoon outing with the family. If you're looking for big safari animals, you won't find those here! It's a small zoo and only features animal species that you'll find right here in North America.

1 comment:

jopb said...

I had no idea that Hersheypark had a zoo connected to it. It looks like a great zoo and with 11 acres I am sure that there is a lot to see and admire. I like the explanation given for the exhibits such as the height of the beara.