PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Friday morning at the Philadelphia Zoo for the new children’s zoo, which is scheduled to open in April 2013.

The new zoo is named after the family of local philanthropist Dorrance Hamilton, which launched a campaign to provide the zoo and has raised 18 of the 30 million dollars needed to finish it.

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The new Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Education Center will be open year round, with indoor activities and exhibits inside the old Pachyderm House. Vic Dewan is Zoo president.

“We wanted to create an extraordinary area that was year round and also delivered the issues of the 21st century around threats to animals and habitats as well.”

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Several local children presented stones of gratitude and appreciation to the Zoo. Emily is nine.

When asked what what she wanted to see at the zoo, she replied, “See the ponies.”

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Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio