Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220

As historic as they come, the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the best medium sized zoos in America. It has all of the animals one would expect at a zoo but doesn’t pander to the customer to see them.

The zoo is broken up into different displays like most others. It categorizes most of the animals by type, (nocturnal, mammals, giraffe, reptiles) and not by continent. This actually works out well because the zoo is historic and this keeps the historic feel without having to redesign the entire place.

All of the animals seemed happy and content to live where they were. None of them seemed to be stuck in small concrete cages, but where still easy to view without problems.  The larger animals are not the only focus of the place. All animals seemed to get equal attention with the larger one being slightly more noticeable. Some animals do get more than deserved attention but this is normal because of the recognizably that children have with them.

The informational placards about the animals are easily visible and highly informative. The zoo has many a school program that is offered throughout the year and even a four year college preparatory academy located on the grounds. With many chances to see a show (some try too hard to entertain, like the bird show), meet a zoo keeper, or watch a feeding, the park offers plenty of opportunities to learn and be educated.

The Cincinnati zoo is one of the oldest zoo’s in America. Opened in 1875, the same year as the park, the reptile house is the oldest building in any zoo in the nation. The park does a good job keeping the history upfront and vivid but not stagnating in it. Yes the buildings are old, but the methods for keeping the animals do not seem to be. Even major historical events are given the respect they deserve. One of the best examples of this is the Passenger Pigeon and Carolina Parakeet Memorial. Both species became extinct at the zoo, but the park does not hide the truth of what happened.

Overall the Zoo keeps very true to its goals of conservation, education, and preservation with respect for the visitor as a consumer of information and the main reason for it existence.


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