By Mike Tobe / The Associated PressPhiladelphia Zoo’s zoo of the year is awarded for the most dramatic and innovative work in the animal kingdom.
Philadelphia Zoo founder David DeWitt, right, walks through a new exhibit at the zoo on May 5, 2018 in Philadelphia.
The zoo has won three consecutive honors for animal exhibits and was named one of the top five most innovative zoological institutions in the world by the International Zoo & Animal Research Institute.
(Photo: Mary Altaffer, AP)Philadelphia Zoo CEO and founder David deWitt speaks during a news conference on Monday, March 24, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa.
Philadelphia Zoo won the 2019 Best in Show award for its $2.5 million renovation of its elephant exhibit.
The zoo opened its new elephant exhibit and animal sanctuary in 2019.
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Philadelphia Zoological Park’s director of animal science, Paul Tognon, talks about the arrival of the elephants at the Zoo of The Year ceremony in Philadelphia on March 5, 2019.
The elephants arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo last week, after a five-year wait, in a big, sweeping move that made the zoo the first in the country to expand the number of elephants in its herd.
(Patrick Semansky/AP)Tens of thousands of people crowded into Philadelphia Zoo to watch the arrival on Sunday, March 9, 2019, of the elephant at the top of the mountain, which has become a landmark of the park.
The animals are the first elephants to cross the Grand Canyon since 1874.
The elephants have made a splash in Philadelphia’s history and will continue to do so in future years, the zoo said in a statement.
Tobey Smith, senior vice president for zoology and animals at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the zoo’s success is part of a growing trend.
“We’re seeing the end of the days of a large zoo being a one-stop shop for animal care,” he said.
“And that’s not good enough.”
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