ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park in Hershey, PA announced the addition of five new animals

Hershey, PA, 2013-10-21— /travelprnews.com/ — ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park has increased its population by five new animals. These new animals are ready to meet guests at the Zoo:

• “Goodyear,” Alligator Snapping Turtle
• “Link,” North American River Otter
• “Petunia,” Spotted Skunk
• “Buddy,” Pronghorn
• “Rio,” Thick-billed Parrot

“We are excited to welcome more animals to ZooAmerica,” said ZooAmerica Director Troy Stump. “Introducing new animals is not only exciting for our guests, but also for our staff. ”

The large male alligator snapping turtle represents a new species for ZooAmerica. Living in the Southern Swaps region, Goodyear comes to Hershey from The Greater Baton Rouge Zoo where he had lived since 1999 when he was taken there by a well meaning fisherman who thought he was a spectacular animal and did not want to see him used as food. His name comes from an ill-fated fishing trip that netted only a tire and a turtle.

While his exact age is unknown, Goodyear is at least 30 years old and weighs 118 pounds. His diet consists of fish, meat scraps, heads of lettuce and acorns.

Link, a male North American River otter, comes to the Zoo from a private breeder in Minnesota and is six years old and looks like a sausage link. He has been very vocal with both the Zoo staff and his enclosure mate Ethyl.

Living in the Eastern Woodlands region of the Zoo, Link enjoys pushing logs around in the water… with his nose.

From Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA, this spotted skunk Petunia is two years old and an omnivore or an “all-eater.” Her human friends say her favorite foods are meat products but she also likes catching live crickets.

Petunia’s new home is in the Great Southwestern region of ZooAmerica and she is de-scented.

A representative of the fastest land animal in North America, our new pronghorn Buddy was hand-raised in captivity at the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and driven to Hershey by two ZooAmerica Naturalists. A two year old, Buddy will reside in the Big Sky Country with sandhill cranes

ZooAmerica has been working to help preserve thick-billed parrots, a species which has been endangered since 1973. Thick-billed parrots are one of only two parrot species known to be native to the United States and were once found in the pine forests of southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Rio hatched on August 13 and is now the size of his parents. His adult feathers have grown in but his beak will remain white for more than a year. He will remain at ZooAmerica for a minimum of five years. After those five years, the Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinator will decide if he will be released to bolster the remaining wild populations or sent to another zoo to breed and to enhance captive genetic diversity. Rio lives in the Great Southwest area of the zoo.

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is an 11-acre, year-round, walk-through zoo that is home to more than 200 animals representing more than 60 North American species. Open daily, ZooAmerica is one of only eight zoos in Pennsylvania accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and prides itself on following its mission of conservation.

For more information about ZooAmerica and its new additions, visit www.ZooAmerica.com or call 717-534-3900.


Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is proud to help fulfill the dream of our mutual founder, Milton S. Hershey, by supporting Milton Hershey School, the largest home and school in the world, as it continues to provide opportunities for children in need. www.mhskids.org

Kathy Burrows