New 'Treeway' Allows Gorillas to Explore Philadelphia Zoo

Western Lowland Gorilla Mothers - Julia, Tuti, Kumi, Layla Julie Larsen Maher

Gorillas at the Philadelphia Zoo are getting a chance to explore their surroundings.

Zoo officials plan to unveil the $2.5 million Gorilla Treeway on Wednesday. It's the latest addition to a campuswide system of trails for animals including monkeys, orangutans and big cats.

The elevated treeway lets five Western lowland gorillas travel about 300 feet along a protected, open-air pathway. It will be in regular use starting Saturday.

The mesh-enclosed trails are designed to enrich the experience of both creatures and guests: They allow animals to wander and visitors to see them in unexpected places.

Zoo officials say hoofed animals like rhinos and giraffes will eventually get to stretch their legs, too.