ZooAmerica Hosts Virtual Tours to Bring the Zoo to You
Families Can Watch Educational Facebook Lives featuring North American Animals
While ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is temporarily closed to the public given the global health concern, the Zoo team is hosting virtual visits to "bring the zoo" to fans everywhere from the comfort of their homes.
Parents and their children (or those young at heart!) are invited to visit the ZooAmerica Facebook page weekdays at 11 a.m. EDT to watch, learn and ask questions about specific animals. Please note that as of April 13, 2020, a new Facebook Live will take place at 11 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The team will also post the recordings and some information about the featured animals below at the conclusion of each Facebook Live.
Virtual Visit with Seals
Join the Zoo team for a virtual field trip to Hersheypark to visit with our friends from the sea! Viewers will learn about two Atlantic harbor seals, Mango and Cocoa, and see a training session with Oceans of Fun. While Hersheypark and ZooAmerica remain closed, the seals continue to receive expert care.
Virtual Visit with Ocelot for Endangered Species Day
May 15 is Endangered Species Day! In this Facebook Live, viewers will get to see an ocelot named Ozzy. Ocelots are at high risk of extinction in the U.S. They are found only in southern Texas (primarily the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge), and it is estimated that there are less than 40 individuals left in that state.
Virtual Visit with Gray Wolves
ZooAmerica is home to a pack of two gray wolves, Twister and Husker. Watch this Facebook Live to see them up-close in their habitat as they enjoy some enrichment activities.
Virtual Visit with Black Bears
Tune in to this Facebook Live to see and learn about Chief and Murphy, the resident black bears at ZooAmerica. The American black bear is the only one found exclusively on this continent.
Virtual Visit with Vampire Bats
Zoo naturalists went live with a colony of 15 vampire bats. These bats survive solely on a diet of cow's blood. Viewers can watch as the bats receive their morning meal, hop and fly around.
Virtual Visit with Canada Lynx
Zoo naturalists were live at the Canada lynx habitat for a virtual visit with Woody (14 years old) and Wren (6 years old). These two medium-sized cats have shared the space since October 2019 and have been getting along quite well! Lynx have many unique physical features, including their big paws that act as snowshoes so they can easily walk on top of the snow in the wild.
Virtual Visit with a Skunk
In this Facebook Live, Stella the skunk will paint on a canvas using nontoxic paint as part of the Zoo's enrichment and training program. Some of her paintings are available for sale in the ZooAmerica gift shop when it's open. Stella is one of four striped skunks in the Education Department at ZooAmerica. She is 6 years old and weighs about three pounds.
BONUS ACTIVITY: As a fun activity, ask your kids to paint their own pictures and post a photo to the ZooAmerica Facebook page.
Virtual Visit with River Otters
ZooAmerica is home to two river otters that live in a special habitat in the Eastern Woodlands region of the Zoo. In this video, viewers will meet Iris, a 7-year-old river otter who arrived at ZooAmerica in November 2019 from another zoo in Indiana. In the wild, river otters span a wide range. They are carnivores and eat mainly aquatic animals, such as fish, crayfish, crabs and other invertebrates. Their favorite snack at ZooAmerica is a fish called capelin.
Virtual Visit with Reptiles
Three reptile species are the stars of the show in this next Facebook Live. Viewers will be introduced to Houdini the Iguana (6 years old), Zorro the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (5 years old), and Huey, Dewey and Lewey the Desert Tortoises (2 years old).
Virtual Visit with a Porcupine
There are three porcupines on habitat at ZooAmerica. Zoo naturalist Alicia was joined by Penny the Porcupine for this Facebook Live. Viewers will also get a look at Juniper and Carmine relaxing in their tree in the porcupine habitat. Penny will be turning 8 years old on April 4. Juniper is going to be 4 on April 1. Carmine will be 7 in May.
Virtual Visit with Turtles and Tortoises
Ever wonder the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Watch this Facebook Live to learn about their similarities and differences.
Virtual Visit with Eagles
In this Facebook Live, Zoo naturalists Tim and Theresa share information about the golden eagle and bald eagle. ZooAmerica has two female bald eagles named Percy and Bertha on habitat. Both were injured in the wild and considered to be non-releasable. Bliss, the golden eagle, is one of the ambassador species at the Zoo. Watch this video to learn more about these beautiful birds.
Virtual Visit with American Alligators
ZooAmerica is home to five American alligators. Viewers will have a sweet opportunity to see the two alligators on habitat, Xavier and Yoshi, enjoy their lunch during this behind-the-scenes Facebook Live.
Virtual Visit with Bobcats
Another cat species featured on Facebook Live is the bobcat. ZooAmerica is home to a family of three bobcats - Keira, the mom, Fuzzy and Boy. The bobcat is named for its short "bobbed" tail. Bobcats have the widest distribution of the seven cat species found in North America. They are found throughout the United States, including as close as 20 minutes from Hershey, Pa. where ZooAmerica is located.
Virtual Visit with Mountain Lions
ZooAmericais home to two mountain lions, Rosa and Rainier. Watch as they receive special Easter-themed treats and toys for enrichment. Though rarely seen, the mountain lion may cover twenty miles a night while hunting for deer and other animals.
Virtual Visit with a Peregrine Falcon
This Facebook Live is all about the peregrine falcon, which is a bird of prey. Viewers will virtually meet Comet, a 12-year-old ambassador species that helps to educate people about the importance of peregrine falcons in nature. Chuppy and Flappy, the two peregrine falcons on habitat at ZooAmerica, will also make an appearance. Peregrines are swift and agile predators that often capture their prey in mid-air. In fact, a peregrine falcon can reach speeds of more than 200 miles per hour when hunting.
Virtual Visit with Rabbits
ZooAmerica has two resident rabbits - Dudley and Nimbus. Rabbits have long ears for excellent hearing, especially from predators like owls and hawks. They like to eat kale, broccoli, cauliflower and pellet food at the Zoo.
Virtual Visit with Snowy Owls
Any Harry Potter fans out there might recognize the type of owl seen in this Facebook Live. Rinna, the female snowy owl, hatched in captivity in Estonia in 2007. She arrived at ZooAmerica in 2009. Nash, the male owl, arrived at ZooAmerica in March of 2019 from the Nashville Zoo, hence his name. The snowy owl is the heaviest of all North American owls and well-adapted for life in the open tundra.
Virtual Visit with a Virginia Opossum
Viewers will meet Orville, a 3-year-old rehabilitated marsupial who lost his foot when he was just a baby. This opossum is an ambassador species at ZooAmerica and has captured the hearts of staff and guests, alike. Virginia opossums are the only marsupial (animal with a pouch) found in North America.
Virtual Visit with Venomous Lizards
Of the 3,000 lizard species in the world, only the gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard are venomous. ZooAmerica introduced viewers to both of these lizards, which are found in the Great Southwest building of the Zoo. Meet Eros the beaded lizard and Diego the gila monster.
Virtual Visit with Eastern Screech Owls
Join ZooAmerica on a virtual visit to learn about Eastern screech owls. Viewers will meet Rufus, a red phase screech owl, and Luna, a gray phase screech owl. Both are rehabilitation animals.
Virtual Visit with Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate spoonbills are birds with a distinct flat spoon-shaped bill and pink color, the latter of which is similar to a flamingo. These spoonbills get their spectacular color from special pigments in the food they eat. There are four spoonbills at ZooAmerica - two males and two females.
Virtual Visit to the Desert Garden
Zoo naturalists went live from the open Desert Garden area with roadrunners, burrowing owls and tortoises. The burrowing owls were hiding in their burrows during the video, but viewers can see roadrunners and tortoises.
Virtual Visit for Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, the ZooAmerica team shared some ideas of ways to honor the Earth while staying home. Viewers will learn how to make a mason bee house out of materials from around the house; discover the animals in the backyard and why it is essential to protect them; receive tips on ways to keep the yard friendly to important pollinators and other animals; and more.
Virtual Visit with Deer and Turkeys
ZooAmerica is home to three white-tailed deer and six eastern wild turkeys. These animals live in a mixed exhibit in the Eastern Woodlands region of the Zoo. In this video, viewers will have the opportunity to see AND hear these animals.
Virtual Visit with Armadillos
Viewers will meet Annie and Oakley, two nine-banded armadillos at ZooAmerica, during this Facebook Live. Of the 20 armadillo species, the nine-banded armadillo is the only species native to the U.S. They are recognizable by the bony armor-like plates covering their bodies.
Virtual Visit with a Rattlesnake
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. ZooAmerica has one eastern diamondback rattlesnake on habitat in the Southern Swamps building of the Zoo. Watch to learn more about this type of pit viper.
Virtual Visit with a Common Raven
In this Facebook Live, viewers will have the opportunity to learn all about Honey, the common raven on habitat in the Big Sky Country region of the Zoo. Honey chose not to participate in the video, but the Zoo team walked through some of her enrichment activities with those who tuned in. The common raven is the largest member of the corvid family. Ravens are skilled fliers and considered to be one of the most intelligent of all bird types. Honey works with the education staff on a daily basis to keep her mind stimulated.
Virtual Visit with Invertebrates
In this Facebook Live, viewers will discover some interesting invertebrates, including millipedes, vinegaroons, scorpions, walking sticks, cockroaches and a tarantula. For those with spider phobias, the video ends with the spider so they are able to exit the Live without missing anything!
Virtual Visit with Reptiles
Do you know the main differences between snakes and lizards? Watch this Facebook Live featuring several reptiles, including a legless lizard!
Virtual Visit with Barred Owls
Viewers will learn some interesting facts about the second largest owl in Pennsylvania - the barred owl. This Facebook Live in the Southern Swamps region of the Zoo is a real hoot!
Virtual Visit with Ferrets
The Zoo team went to the Great Southwest in this Facebook Live to visit with Haymitch, a black-footed ferret, and Parker, a domestic ferret. Black-footed ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in North America.
Virtual Visit with Big Brown Bats
There are nine different species of bats in Pennsylvania. This virtual visit focuses on big brown bats. These bats are vital to the ecosystem, as they can eat up to 1, 200 insects in an hour.
Virtual Visit with a Crow
Viewers will virtually meet Russell the Crow in this Facebook Live and learn all about him, including the difference between crows and ravens.
Virtual Visit with American Martens
In this Facebook Live, viewers will get to learn about American martens. These small and agile members of the weasel family are excellent climbers. Watch to see Dean and Mitzi!
Virtual Visit with Red-Tailed Hawk
One of the most common North American raptors, red-tailed hawks inhabit a wide variety of open country. Watch this recording to virtually meet PeeWee, our red-tailed hawk, and Sooper, our harris hawk.
Virtual Visit with American Elk
Join the Zoo team on a virtual visit to the Big Sky Country of ZooAmerica to see our two female elk, Hannah and Becky. Elk are among the most vocal members of the deer family.