Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has partnered with Philadelphia Zoo to bring live animals to the airport each month to interact with travelers. The initiative, which began in summer 2019, has been a hit with visitors, according to the airport.
“Seeing these wonderful creatures up close, learning all about their species and what makes each of them unique, and interacting with the zoo staff has both surprised and delighted passengers,” said airport CEO Chellie Cameron. “When we formed this partnership with the zoo we believed it was a perfect fit for our ongoing efforts to create a positive guest experience, as well as curate a sense of place, and we are very pleased that this program has been well received.”
Among the animals that have visited the airport so far are Camilla, a three-banded armadillo; Shenandoah, a red-tailed hawk; Machu and Picchu, brother and sister blue and gold macaws; and Meg and Tom, red-footed tortoises whose conservation status is vulnerable due to overhunting.
To enhance personal interaction with the animals, the airport has created trading cards for each of them that includes their name, birthdate, species, habitat, favorite snack and conservation status. The cards are given to passengers as a souvenir and a memento of their experience at the airport and, more importantly, to give them a better understanding of the animals and their backgrounds, in particular their conservation status.
“Philadelphia Zoo is thrilled to partner with Philadelphia International Airport,” said Vikram H Dewan, Philadelphia Zoo president and CEO. “The Zoo’s mission is to connect people with animals from around the globe, so what better place? This is a great partnership, and we are happy to engage passengers and provide a wonderful animal experience.”
The next monthly zoo event at the airport is scheduled for Tuesday, November 26 – accessible to ticketed passengers only.
Photos courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport