Philadelphia Zoo Unlocking Its Zoo Key Program Once Again

The Philadelphia Zoo is bringing back its iconic Zoo Keys after 12 years

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Philadelphia Zoo/Getty Images

What to Know

  • The Philadelphia Zoo is bringing back its Zoo Key program. The plastic keys, shaped like different zoo animals, will return in April.
  • The keys were available for purchase at the zoo for nearly 50 years. Zoo officials say the old keys will work in the new boxes.
  • Those needing keys can buy them for $3 at the zoo.

Remember putting a key into a special box to unlock stories about your favorite animals when you were a kid?

The Philadelphia Zoo is bringing back its iconic (and nostalgic) Zoo Key this spring.

The plastic keys, shaped like different zoo animals, will return in April, America’s first zoo says. They will unlock book-shape boxes throughout the park with prerecorded stories from zookeepers and "insider secrets" about the animals.

Shaped like an elephant using its trunk to unlock the talking story box, the original keys made their debut in Philadelphia in 1960. Other animals, such as lions, were made into keys in subsequent years.

The keys were available for purchase at the zoo for nearly 50 years and were offered as educational prizes to schoolchildren until 2007, when the park ended the program.

Zoo officials say the old keys will work in the new boxes. Those needing keys can buy them for $3 at the zoo.

The return of the zoo key coincides with the Creatures of Habitat exhibit featuring more than 30 life-size LEGO sculptures depicting animals in their natural habitats, the zoo says. The zoo keys will also unlock the giant LEGO displays.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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