11:35 AM

ZooAmerica Welcomes New Animals in Summer 2021

Lynx Kittens, Prairie Dog Pups and an Alligator Snapping Turtle Have Arrived!

It's been an exciting (and busy) start to summer at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. Within the last month, the zoo team celebrated the birth of 12 prairie dog pups and two Canada lynx kittens. The team also welcomed a female alligator snapping turtle from the St. Louis Zoo. Read on to learn more about the new arrivals.

Birth of Two Canada Lynx Kittens

Two Canada lynx kittens were born at ZooAmerica to parents, Wren and Woody, on May 3, 2021.

Wren, 8, and Woody, 16, are a recommended breeding pair by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Canada Lynx Species Survival Plan. This is their second litter within the last two years. Three kittens made up the 2020 litter and all continue to reside at ZooAmerica. When the new kittens are large enough, all the lynx will be able to share the habitat until some of the juveniles move onto other zoos. The young from 2020 have already initiated positive contact and play with the kittens through the mesh of the two lynx areas.

The new kittens are being cared for exclusively by their mother, Wren. Guests have seen the kittens playing at random times in a smaller area of the exhibit reserved for Wren and her babies. The family is often sleeping in their den, so kitten sightings cannot be guaranteed. Stay tuned to the ZooAmerica Facebook page for updates on their progress and growth.

Arrival of Alligator Snapping Turtle

A female alligator snapping turtle became the newest resident to the Southern Swamps at ZooAmerica in mid-June 2021.

The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. The 29-pound turtle came to Hershey from the St. Louis Zoo. She was originally found in 2014 in an area that acts as a sanitary sewer and storm drainage for the city. It is believed that she was formerly a pet and intentionally released. She does not have a name yet, so head over to the ZooAmerica Facebook page to suggest one!

Birth of Prairie Dog Pups

Twelve prairie dog pups were spotted in Big Sky Country at ZooAmerica on June 1, 2021.

Although named for their barking alarm call, black-tailed prairie dogs are actually burrowing ground squirrels. Their burrows can be found on the flat ground, as well as within the mound in the center of their habitat. Black-tailed prairie dogs are active all year but are rarely out during the night. During the hotter summer months, they might emerge only during the cooler hours of the day. If you visit the zoo this summer, keep an eye out for them!


Visit the Zoo this Summer

ZooAmerica is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in July 2021. Regular admission for guests ages 9-61 is $13. Juniors and seniors are $11 and children 2 and younger are free.

Did you know ZooAmerica is included in the one-price admission to Hersheypark when entering the zoo through the Hersheypark bridge during posted park hours? Guests can take a break from coaster riding and head over to the zoo to see the new arrivals and other North American animals.