Elmwood Zoo receives $30 million donation for first exotic animal hospital

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Elmwood Park Zoo has received a massive $30 million anonymous donation that officials say will help build one of the nation’s top animal hospitals in Norristown. The gift labeled by the zoo as a “landmark” will also help the zoo establish a new visitor center.

The hospital will include several examination rooms, treatment centers, quarantine facilities, recovery rooms, giant glass windows allowing customers to see the daily work of the hospital, and much more.

“This donation comes at a critical time for the zoo,” Al Zone, executive director and CEO of Elmwood, said in a statement. “On the eve of our 100th anniversary, this donation allows us to extend our exceptional veterinary care to a growing number of species, and it provides us with a means to build an entrance that can accommodate the large number of guests who visit us. every year. .”

Observation bays and public access to the zoo will offer visitors an in-depth look at medical procedures, as well as dietary preparations and other intricacies of care. The hospital will span more than 17,000 square feet, making it “one of the largest and most advanced exotic animal care facilities” in America, the zoo said.

The visitor center, which will be attached to the hospital, will include ticket offices, a gift shop, educational displays, offices and meeting spaces.

The donor was identified by the zoo only as a local entrepreneur with “close ties” to Norristown.

“It (the donation) was made as an effort for other philanthropists in Montgomery County to follow (my) lead and get involved,” he said, noting that he wanted to support the master plan for the $150 million zoo to renovate the grounds through a Zone series further described the hospital as the most important part of this master plan.

The completion date of the project has not yet been announced.

Benjamin M. Yerger