The 6abc ZooBalloon will be back next spring

Like a cat almost, the 6abc ZooBalloon is back from the dead, returning to the Philadelphia Zoo next spring, officials announced Wednesday.

The balloon's first demise came nine months ago, when a heavy February snowstorm caused irreparable damage. Shortly afterward, however, fans and locals took to social media to share memories of the balloon, which for $15 took visitors about 400 feet into the air for a view of the grounds, and zoo officials responded by bringing a replacement balloon that would have soared one more season, until Nov. 23.

After a lengthy negotiations, however, zoo and 6abc officials came up with a more permanent solution: a brand new balloon to be installed in spring 2015.

"Though we believed 2014 would be the last season for the balloon, we are proud to continue to provide an experience that has given so many people such impactful, lasting memories," zoo president and CEO Vikram H. Dewan said in a statement. - Inquirer staff