Now Open: The Philadelphia Zoo Unveils Second Nature, An Inventive, Animal-Inspired Sculpture Exhibit, On View Through October 31

Philadelphia Zoo

At the Philadelphia Zoo, visitors can now come face-to-face with a 13-foot-tall gorilla constructed from car doors.
(Photo by T. Scheid for Visit Philadelphia)

The Philadelphia Zoo just got a few rare additions for 2015.

The newest members of the zoo’s animal family aren’t cuddly koalas, exotic birds or playful penguins — they’re larger-than-life sculptures made from recycled, reused and repurposed materials.

The Philadelphia Zoo’s innovative installation Second Nature just opened, and through October 31, visitors will be able to gaze at ingenious and larger-than-life sculptures of endangered animals.

Spark plugs, cardboard, chewing gum and serving plates are just a few of the unorthodox items used to create sculptures like a 9,000-pound, butterfly-laden tree; a 13-foot-tall blue gorilla; and even an alligator — which is made from 200 pounds of chewing gum.

The exhibit is made up of 12 works from a dozen renowned artists hailing from around the world — places like Rome, Rotterdam, Montreal, Queensland and, of course, Philadelphia — each of whom executed a unique vision.

While it is made up of individual works, as a whole Second Nature tells a story about the connection between endangered species and human behavior, and aims to get visitors thinking about the small things we can do in our daily lives to make a world of difference for endangered animals and habitats.

Perhaps best of all, the zoo-wide exhibition is included with the regular price of admission, making art appreciation almost second nature to every visitor.


Second Nature at the Philadelphia Zoo

When: April 11-October 31
Where: 3400 W. Girard Avenue
Cost: Included with zoo admission
($20 for adults, $18 for kids 2-11, free for members and kids under 2)
Philadelphia Zoo
Artists from around the world had the chance to get creative with environmentally friendly materials for Second Nature at the Philadelphia Zoo. (Photo by T. Scheid for Visit Philadelphia)

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