One of these is the Philadelphia Zoo – which, while I’m proud to say, is the oldest zoo in America, it didn’t actually appear on the scene until about 1859, well after those days of the American Revolution, when Philadelphia was a “really happening” (is that how you say it?) place.
It is good to see that the natural sciences are being supported and promoted through this worthy endeavor. As a scientist and inventor, I naturally tended to favor the “physical” or “mechanical” sciences, but I recognize that a lot of important work is also done in this field as well.
And besides, it is simply quite diverting to stroll around the Philadelphia Zoo and observe the many different species of animals. Why, in only one afternoon, I managed to observe lions, tigers, bears, (oh my!), exotic birds of all varieties, turtles, lizards, lemurs, elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotami, goats, sloths, and even squirrels and chipmunks!
The benefits of being a member
I also understand that there is an extra special experience that is available to those who become “members” of the Zoo – throughout the year, special activities and events for “members only” are offered, which gives families, and especially children, an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the animals that is not normally made available to the general public. A few of these include holiday activities, such as around Christmas time; special zookeepers’ presentations and previews, such as showing off the animal health care facilities that are usually behind closed doors; summer camp; access to the Treehouse; and free rides on the swan boats, Amazon Rainforest carousel, animal rides, and zoo balloon.
Ironically, both Boston, the place of my birth, and Philadelphia, my adopted hometown, now have swan boat rides as tourist attractions. My preference, of course, is the one at the Philadelphia Zoo, since it is a more interactive experience in which individual riders propel and steer the boats, which is not an option in Boston. My ancient, 308-year-old legs did get a workout, but it was worth the ride.
Cool electric fans
And it would be remiss of me, as one of the early pioneers responsible for electricity, to neglect one of the refreshing advantages that the Philadelphia Zoo boasts during the summer time, when the heat and humidity become oppressive: ingenious, electrically-operated fan devices that blow a combination of air and fine droplets of moisture provide a very enjoyable cooling effect for passers-by who might otherwise have felt themselves wilting under the hot summer sun.
For very young children who are not quite ambulatory, there are strollers available to rent. And, as I have noticed, other resourceful visitors bring along their own small conveyances, such as wagons in which their children may ride.
For more information about the Philadelphia Zoo, you can go up on that amazing invention called the internet, at http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/, or www.visitphilly.com, to get additional details.
And if you’d like to see my own little moving picture show on the Zoo, go to Youtube at http://youtu.be/c3vfAQi_ok0.
Your humble servant,