Preemie hippos aside, the Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest in the country and is consistently voted one of America's best. Creatures from every corner of the animal kingdom are cared for here and serve to educate the public. The polar bears and manatees are personal favorites that shouldn't be missed.
“The second oldest zoo in the US”
The Zoological Society of Cincinnati was founded in 1873 and officially opened its doors in 1875, making the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden the second oldest Zoo in the United States. The Zoo’s original animal collection was very small, originally consisting of just eight monkeys, two grizzly bears, three deer, six raccoons, two elk, a buffalo, a hyena, a tiger, an alligator, a circus elephant, and over four hundred birds, including a talking crow. The Zoo was founded on 65 acres in the middle of the city, and since then has acquired some of the surrounding blocks and several reserves in Cincinnati’s suburbs. Today you can feed giraffes, see gorillas, watch manatees, and more! The Zoo was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987 due to its significant architecture featured in the Elephant House, the Reptile House, and the Passenger Pigeon Memorial. The Zoo’s Reptile House is the oldest existing Zoo building in the country, dating from 1875. The Zoo has long been successful at captive breeding, starting with trumpeter swans and sea lions back in the 1880s. The Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) was founded in 1986 to strengthen the tradition. The research conducted here has made the Cincinnati Zoo an international leader in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants around the world.
A great zoo with an incredible history. Definite highlights for us were the insect house and the reptile building which is one of the oldest zoo buildings in the country. The zoo has been cleverly laid out so that you don't feel like it's crowded - even when it's at capacity. A solid selection of animals and a lot of fun. Remember to bring water since it's expensive on site.
Amazing bird show & best pretzels in town. The daily giraffe feedings are a must as well as checking out the TWO new baby gorillas. The manatees, jungle trails and cat canyon are a must as well. Don't forget to pet the tortoises and goats. Search for the wallabies as a special treat! The other rare find we never saw till last week - an armored rhino. It looked like a freaking dinosaur. Completely off the beaten path and AMAZING!
Good zoo, lots of history here, but have to say check the weather. Cincinnati is famous for hot muggy days, and this zoo has hills and lots of walking. May take some punch out of the experience, so plan accordingly.
A really nice zoo. They seem to give their animals plenty of room and privacy spaces. Really pretty and gets busy on the weekends with family. You have to pay for parking but it's pretty cheap entry fees seem reasonable as well.
Even though they creep me out a little, I found the insect/bug house to be fascinating. It was set up really well and had loads of critters I had never heard of.
THE most beautiful Zoo in Ohio…….Kinda strange lineup of animals tho…White Tigers…really? Don't get me started on the Elephant, you'll know what I mean when you see her.
Cullen is not wrong.
I've only ever been to the zoo for the PNC Light Festival during the holiday season. After going a couple of times, my wife and I have vowed to go ever year! The event usually runs from Thanksgiving until the new year. You can't see very outdoor animals during the festival, so I wouldn't recommend going during this time if you're looking to see the animals.
This was also the home to the last ever Passenger Pigeon named Martha. See died in captivity there in 1914. September 1st marks the 100th anniversary.
My kids love going to the zoo. We get passes every year and spend at least one Saturday morning a month walking around. If you are local, the Gold pass is a great buy. If stopping through, be sure to check out the Manatee exhibit.
Love going here during the summer when the animals out, and the Festival of Lights is also pretty cool around Christmas.
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Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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