Due to harsh weather conditions recently, the Channel 6 ZooBalloon drifted off into the sunset.
Philadelphia Zoo officials announced today they've implemented a controlled release of the helium inside the balloon that's been a staple at the zoo since 2002.
Monday's snowfall, which dropped several inches in the Delaware Valley, did the ballon in, officials said. The balloon had accumulated five to 10 tons of snow — the equivalent of five hippos. "In its current state," said a news release, "the snow cannot be safely removed from the balloon. To ensure safety and minimal damage, the Zoo took action to deflate the balloon based on the manufacturer's recommendation."
This year was going to be the ZooBalloon's final year anyway. Zoo officials and Channel 6 had been preparing a send-off celebration after this summer.
Zoo officials have not yet announced what will replace the ZooBalloon.