Philadelphia Zoo unlocks memories with return of souvenir keys

John McDevitt
April 04, 2019 - 4:47 pm
Visitors to the Philadelphia Zoo can use a zoo key to unlock audio story books from these book boxes.

John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Zoo is unlocking memories and making new ones with the return of the iconic souvenir key and audio story book boxes. 

The keys now are made from recycled plastic and come in the shapes of red and purple lions, bears and gorillas. Members get green alligators.

Related: Philadelphia Zoo brings back nostalgic Zoo Key to upcoming exhibit

The zoo keepers who work with animals day in and day out are the sound in the solar-powered audio story book that unlocks with the keys. 

"Yeah, I think its nice to give people that additional insight when they come to the zoo. Guests can put their key in the box and learn a little bit more about the animals maybe they didn't know before," said bird curator Ian Gereg, who is also the voice behind the story book at the flamingo exhibit. 

9-year-old Wai Vong of King Of Prussia got his first Zoo Key. 

"What I liked about it is instead of going up to somebody and talking to them about bears or something we can just put a key in here," Vong said. 

There are 22 boxes situated throughout the zoo, including in front of 12 wildlife scenes featuring life-sized animal sculptures made out of LEGO bricks. The bricks includes a lion, an orangutan and penguins.

The LEGO animals are part of the Creatures of Habitat exhibit running now through Sept. 30.