Hershey’s ZooAmerica will celebrate its 40th anniversary with special activities on May 5-6

HERSHEY — ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is celebrating 40 years of entertaining visitors to Hersheypark and other animal lovers this year. It will recognize its official 40th anniversary on the weekend of May 5-6 with several activities for the whole family.

Founded in 1910, when Milton S. Hershey formally organized his Park’s growing collection of wild animals, the Hershey Zoo reopened to the public as ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park on May 7, 1978.

Various animal encounters will happen throughout the weekend and will feature some of the original species from 1978.

The following special activities will be offered May 5-6:

  • An educational scavenger hunt will take place throughout the Zoo. Guests can pick up their scavenger hunt information at the admissions desk or download it from the website. Clues can be discovered on special 40th anniversary markers located at select animal exhibits whose species were here in 1978.  
  • An open house will also be available from 11 AM through 3 PM in the Woodlands Education Room. Guests can visit with Pinky the Gila Monster, an original animal in 1978, see past
  • ZooAmerica uniforms, view desert tortoise hatchlings and check out historic pictures and videos.
  •  special program, “Why Zoos Matter: Past, Present & Future,” will be presented twice daily. This program will specifically target the Zoo’s past conservation and release projects. Historically, the Zoo has helped raise/release golden eagles and peregrine falcons.
  • A golden eagle and peregrine falcon will be two of the animal ambassadors to make an appearance during the program. Currently, the Zoo works on many “backyard” conservation projects, including hanging and monitoring barn owl & kestrel boxes. The Zoo is also involved in a regal fritillary butterfly release project.
  • Since 1978, the Zoo has focused on highlighting North American animals and is committed to conservation of all animals.