The day was typical of June-warm with haze settling around the 10 a.m. sun. Mom, Dad, and I pulled out of our driveway in King of Prussia to go to the Plumpton Park Zoo in Rising Sun, Md. The Plumpton Park Zoo is only a 45-minute drive from West Chester, and is a cozy, intimate little zoo that is well worth the trip. 

Our 2008 silver Honda Accord pulled into the gravel pit parking lot and we were greeted by the scenes of peacocks walking on roofs and a totem pole cut from a tree. We were ready to go-this was our first time at this zoo (Mom travels to Maryland for business, passes by Rising Sun, Md. and always sees the green signs pointing to the attraction). 

It was surprising to see the peacock on the roof, but we were greeted by at least three other peacocks that are allowed to roam free at the zoo. I could not help but focus on them as their beautiful blue plumes spread open, giving the spectators a show worth the $11 admission price.

Jimmie the Giraffe is the zoo’s major attraction. The zoo is in the process of raising money to build him a new house, and the zoo’s supporters have generously donated money. Even in the hot sun during June, children and parents alike gather around Jimmie the Giraffe and it becomes hard to fully see him. Children feed him leaves, and parents pet him as I manage to snap a few pictures.

As soon as you walk past the iron bar gates, the first house you enter is the reptile house that keeps iguanas, lizards, and frogs. It is hot and humid in there; my hair frizzes, but I just continue staring at the poison dart frogs and other reptiles that blend in carefully with the leaves. Although I am usually not a reptile fan and not a fan of humidity, this house was pretty cool to visit.

Outside hosts several different animals such as the Vietnamese Potbelly Pig, Bactrian camels, Jaguars, Peafowls, owls and other unique animals. The Bactrian camel was my favorite, but it was not a camel that you could pay to ride. Instead, I take as many pictures I can to add to my scrapbook.

There are food stands in the zoo, which looked delicious, but we decided not to stay for lunch. Instead, we bid adieu to the Plumpton Park Zoo and ventured on through the state of Maryland-to our next stop, Elk Neck State Park in North East, Md.

Those who are interested in visiting the Plumpton Park Zoo can visit their website at for more information.

Jessica Cavaliere is a fifth-year student majoring in writing with minors in creative writing and philosophy. She can be reached at

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