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Jul 8, 201610:25 AMCity Beat

Behind the Scenes at Zoo America

Jul 8, 2016 - 10:25 AM
Behind the Scenes at Zoo America

Photography by Cassie Miller

"Willow" a Canada Lynx patrols her enclosure.

During the summer months, parents and families make every effort to combine their interests and plan activities. For many Central. Pa residents this includes a stop at one (or more) of Hershey's many attractions. Hershey Park, Zoo America, the Outlets at Hershey, the Hershey Museum and the newly-revamped Chocolate World are all hot spots for the chocolate town.

Zoo America is turning the traditional zoo experience on its head with its "Behind the Scenes" tours. Guests receive admission to one of the three tours offered and a full-day pass to the zoo for $49 dollars. The tours include a "Photography Tour," which takes guests to non-public spaces for photo opportunities; an "Early Bird" tour, which starts at 8 a.m. and allows guests to witness the morning routines of the zoo's residents and gives guests the opportunity to feed animals like deer, wolves and mountain lions; the "after hours" tour takes place at night after the zoo is closed to the public and allows guests to hold reptiles and birds as well as feed River Otters.

Did you know that the sound of a Sandhill Crane was used to create the sound of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park?    

These tours provide a one-on-one experience for visitors and the guides. It is a great opportunity to ask questions, find out more about species, the zoo and individual residents. For families who have visited Zoo America previously, the "Behind the Scenes" tours renew interest by offering an interactive experience.

On the tour, guests learn that Zoo America frequently takes the scrap meat and produce from the Hotel Hershey for their animals, ensuring that nothing is wasted.  

At no point in the tours are animals or visitors put in harms way, guests may be climbing over the fence, but not into the enclosures with the animals. Remember, no amount of captivity will change the instincts of a wild animal.

The tours are great for family members of all ages and for anyone looking for a little bit of adventure.

The tours are only offered on certain days of the week, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.

For more information about the tours, visit zooamerica.com

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