About The Exhibit
The Philadelphia Zoo has partnered with The Jim Henson Company™ to present this wildly amazing puppet experience. This exhibit spans the entire zoo with a cast of puppet characters led by members of endangered, and in one case extinct, species. Located throughout the zoo on Bank of America Eco-Stages, each puppet character educates and engages their audience on the plight of endangered animals and habitats. The upbeat message tells the “tail” about how visitors can make a difference. Each message encourages the need for humans to find creative ways to protect habitats and co-exist with animals to change the world for the better by bringing about the x• tink• shun of extinction.
X•tink•shun also features:
- Save our Species Parade: presented by SEPTA where guests will “march” multiple times per day among highflying animal puppets and “rally” the message to take action against poaching and habitat destruction. The theme song for the Save our Species Parade, titled Hail the Creatures!, is written and recorded by Grammy award-winning artist Dan Zanes, the leading man of the family music genre.
- The X•clamation Station where guests will create their own thought provoking message and leave a mark at the Philadelphia Zoo.
The Cast: Didi the Dodo-X tink shun Spokesbird; Leo the Golden Lion Tamarin; Alfreda Cheeta; Iggle the Eagle; Phibi Frog; Igor the Tiger; The “Douc” Langer
What We Thought
The puppets are simply brilliant, but of course I wouldn’t have expected anything less given that they were crafted by The Jim Henson Company. The detail and craftsmanship was evident as these puppets preformed. The puppeteers were also above par with their ability to capture the attention of my son by moving the puppets in dance as well as during their speeches about their possible extinction.
It’s been a few days now and I’ve shown my son the picture of the cast of puppets. We talk about how we can see all of the animals, with the exception of Didi. We talk about how the other animals live at the zoo or in far off places that we can visit, but that to see Didi we have to pretend. He’s 2, so that is about the extent that I think he can grasp the enormity of this message. He does tell me that we have to pretend with Didi but that he was able to shake Phibi the Frog’s hand (pictured left), so something is sinking in. Ultimately, it’s never too early to begin talking about conservation and extinction with our children. You might be surprised by what they recall and, as they grow, how these experiences shape the impact they make on the world.
You can check out more information at the exhibit-specific website: www.Xtinkshun.org
Opens: April 9, 2011-October 31, 2011
Cost: Free with Zoo visit
Performances: Performances are scheduled every half hour and hour. The SEPTA’s Save Our Species Parade Times: 12:00pm and 3:30pm
*Disclosure: Philly Burb Moms were provided free parking and access to the zoo to preview this exhibit. Exhibit information provided by the Zoo. The photo of the puppets is courtesy of www.xtinkshun.org. No compensation was received for this post, and as always, all opinions are strictly my own.