Brandywine Zoo | Delaware First Media
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Brandywine Zoo

Tom Byrne / Delaware Public Media

2020 has been a challenging year, especially for Delaware's visitor attractions.

One attraction fought through setbacks and ever-changing guidelines to pursue its expansion plans, while simultaneously protecting the health and safety of visitors and its animals, including those added as part of a new exhibit.

In this week’s Enlighten Me, Delaware Public Media contributor Mark Fowser takes us to the Brandywine Zoo.

Mark Fowser / Delaware Public Media

Wilmington's Brandywine Zoo has some new residents.

The Zoo's Madagascar exhibit opens to the public Friday.

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The 115-year-old zoo in Wilmington hopes to bring in sloths, flamingos and Southern Pudus, the world’s smallest type of deer— if it can raise the money. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington has several new animals on display this season. The additions are part of the zoo’s multi-million dollar master plan.

Courtesy of the Chester County District Attorney's Office

During a drug bust at a home in South Coatesville, Pennsylvania, law enforcement officials found an alligator living in a kitchen. That alligator now lives at the Brandywine Zoo.


Courtesy of the Brandywine Zoo

The Brandywine Zoo is closed through the end of February for construction.

The work marks the start of the Wilmington zoo’s $13 million master plan.


Brandywine Zoo says goodbye to Zhanna

Dec 27, 2016
Brandywine Zoo

One of Delaware’s most beloved animals will get a new home in New York City next year.

Brew at the Zoo hopes to attract donors

Sep 28, 2016
Brandywine Zoo

Animal lovers will join tigers, geckos and sloths in raising money for the Brandywine Zoo. The annual Brew at the Zoo is the Brandywine’s largest fundraiser.

Brandywine Zoo reups accreditation

Sep 19, 2016
Tom Byrne / Delaware Public Media

Wilmington’s Brandywine Zoo has the renewed stamp of approval from The Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

By Mallory Simon [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Rabbits, tigers and toucans have been helping cereal companies move product for years. Now, a University of Delaware researcher is hoping to use that clever marketing strategy to get kids eating healthier.

Brandywine Zoo opens Eagle Ridge

Mar 10, 2016
Tom Byrne / Delaware Public Media



State officials cut the ribbon Thursday on a brand new exhibit at the Brandywine Zoo.

Last year, the zoo received $100,000 from the state legislature to make a number of improvements the biggest being a project called Eagle Ridge.

Enlighten Me: Brandywine Zoo

Mar 4, 2016
Tom Byrne / Delaware Public Media

As spring begins, certain businesses and destinations,  like the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington gear up for their busiest season. This winter, The Brandywine Zoo has been hard at work, revamping existing exhibits and designing new ones.

Last year, they received $100,000 from the state legislature to make several major improvements -- including their upcoming Eagle Ridge project, a wheelchair-accessible bald eagle exhibit. After months of construction, they’ll finally cut the ribbon to Eagle Ridge next week. 

As they prepare to do that, Delaware Public Media’s Eli Chen visited the historic zoo for a tour in this week’s Enlighten Me.

Brandywine Zoo breaks ground on Eagle Ridge Project

Oct 29, 2015
Courtesy: Brandywine Zoo

The Brandywine Zoo broke ground Thursday on its Eagle Ridge Project, a plan to upgrade the area around the zoo’s bald eagle and river otter exhibits.

The improvement plan will create a fully accessible path through the hilly, multi-story area at the back of the zoo, making the zoo compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But zoo director Gene Peacock says that’s not all it will do.


Photo courtesy: Brandywine Zoo

The orange-haired, 10-inch-tall golden lion tamarins are a familiar sight in zoos like Wilmington’s Brandywine Zoo.

But due to deforestation caused by agriculture and urban development in Brazil, the number of these adorable monkeys have plummeted over the decades. In the 1980s, Benjamin Beck -- a retired general curator for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo -- was part of an effort to reintroduce zooborn golden lion tamarins into the wild.

The First State won a legal battle in federal court last week when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overruled a Delaware District Court judge in a case involving Delaware Elections Disclosure Act.  Widener Delaware Law School dean Rod Smolla rejoins us this week to analyze the decision and its impact.

Over the last fifty years, there’s been reported declines of moths all over North America. And there’s no simple answer for what’s driving down their populations. As one listener told iSeeChange -- our project to answer your questions about the changes you see in your environment -- the sight of moths gathering around a backyard porch light is no longer as common as it used to be in Delaware.  So, Delaware Public Media’s science reporter Eli Chen went to find out what’s behind the dwindling moth populations in the First State.

Tom Byrne / Delaware Public Media

People aren’t the only one looking for relief during Delaware’s first heat wave of the summer.  Animals are also trying to beat the heat. 

And while pet owners are asked to keep an eye on their animals – and not leave them outdoors or in cars – the job is more complicated at the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington.