Saturday, December 31, 2011

Columbus Zoo Update - Dec 18, 2011

Sorry, I meant to post this awhile ago but I've been busy for the holidays. Here are a few pictures to go along with our latest blog post (

The zoo has installed two large viewings windows along the front side of the aviary for those who want to view the beautiful birds but don’t want to walk through aviary.

They have also installed a huge mesh roof over the zoo’s master escape artist’s yard, the markhors, also located within Asia Quest.

The new reindeer yard outside of Polar Frontier (where the wolves used to be, behind the OSU solar house). Looks to be a temporary seasonal exhibit only. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Zoo Tails Top Posts from 2011

It's that time of year when we look back and reflect on our the great memories from the past year and look forward to the future. Here is a list of some of the most popular zoo news from 2011:
  1. Columbus Zoo Map from 2000
  2. Cleveland Zoo 2011 Map 
  3. Columbus Zoo Pictures from July 2011 
  4. Columbus Zoo Polar Bear Exhibit Model 
  5. Amazon River Dolphin 
  6. Vintage Zoo Pictures: San Diego Zoo 1984 
  7. Coyote+Bison Picture 
  8. Brochure Spotlight: SeaWorld Cleveland 
  9. Busch Gardens’ Baby Cheetah Gets a New Puppy Pal
And here are some of the zoo or animal related videos I put together in 2011:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zoo Exhibit Design Interactions: Sniff Port

While at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium today I discovered a very cool interactive feature at the brown and polar bear exhibits in the Polar Frontier section. The bear enclosures feature a "Sniff Port", a small covered hole in the exhibit wall, located on the far left side of the polar bear's above-water viewing space. It allows the bears to easily smell you, and if you look through the tiny holes you can see their noses and hear them smelling you!

Here's a tip a zoo volunteer gave us to lure a polar bear over to the sniff port - eat some peanut butter! At the sniff port, you can breathe out and the scent that wafts through to the other side often lures the polar bears over. And peanut butter is the smell that seems to be the most alluring.

Are there any other exhibits that you know of that have such exciting and innovative features?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Columbus Zoo News Update - December 13, 2011

Zoo Chat forum member Team Tapir gave us an update today about a few of the ongoing projects at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. You may have noticed some working taking place in the pheasant aviaries over in Asia Quest. The zoo has installed two large viewings windows along the front side of the aviary for those who want to view the beautiful birds but don’t want to walk through aviary. They have also installed a huge mesh roof over the zoo’s master escape artist’s yard, the markhors, also located within Asia Quest. Another juicy tidbit, according to some unknown sources preliminary work on the massive African Savannah expansion has begun. However, no details on the finalized project plans are available at this time. Hopefully, we’ll know more about these plans when they become public, rumored to be revealed this spring. It’s a great time to be a fan of the Columbus Zoo!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Help Name Tampa's New Baby White Rhino!

At Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, a Southern White Rhinoceros calf was born in the early morning hours on Wednesday, December 7, to second-time mother “Kidogo” in the African Rhino boma (barn) which houses the animals overnight. The birth marks the second Rhino born at the Zoo this year, preceded by an Indian Rhinoceros (also known as the greater one-horned rhinoceros) born in July.

The white rhino calf is not yet named, but the Zoo has launched a naming contest on its Facebook page for the online community to participate.  A selection of African names selected by the Zoo’s animal care team -- starting with the letter K in honor of mother Kidogo -- are below (in alphabetical order).
·         Kafi – “quiet”
·         Kande - “first born daughter”
·         Kato – “second born”
·         Kwaku – “born on Wednesday”
The female calf will receive her name just in time for the holidays with the most votes through Friday, Dec. 23.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Asian Elephant Arrives at Columbus Zoo

What is there to do in Columbus, Ohio? Go to the Columbus Zoo, of course! Hank, a 23-old male Asian Elephant, arrived at the zoo this morning from Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in hopes that he will breed with their breeding cow, Phoebe.

Press release:

Powell, OH – Hank, a 23-year-old Asian elephant, arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium early this morning and brought with him hope for a genetically diverse population of Asian elephants within zoos.

“Hank has previously sired a calf.” said Harry Peachey, Assistant Curator at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “He was brought to the Columbus Zoo based on a Species Survival Plan recommendation to breed with our females, Connie and Phoebe.”
Hank was born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 1988 and also lived at the Bronx Zoo and in California at Have Trunk Will Travel. He came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Arkansas.
According to standard procedure, Hank will be kept in quarantine before being introduced to the other Columbus Zoo elephants and Zoo visitors.
With the arrival of Hank, the Columbus Zoo elephant experts now care for four elephants.  In the past ten years only 13 Asian elephants have been born successfully in nine AZA zoos in the U.S. including Beco and Bodhi at the Columbus Zoo.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s elephant facility has more indoor space than any other North America zoo. Although there is space for more than one bull elephant, seven-year-old Bodhi was moved to the Denver Zoo last month to better position him to one day sire a calf and contribute to the elephant population.
An endangered species, Asian elephants are represented by an estimated 38,000 to 51,000 individuals in range countries. Fragmented wild populations, agriculture, deforestation and conflict with humans pose a constant threat to wild Asian elephants.
“The elephants at the Zoo inspire people to care and take an active role in conservation” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium CEO and President Dale Schmidt. “Their contributions enable the Columbus Zoo to be a leader in conservation. We provide $1 million of privately raised revenue each year to fund field projects and conservation organizations in more than 30 countries.”

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas for Zoo Fans

The holiday gift giving season is upon us. Here are a few gift ideas for zoo fans and their kids.

World of Zoo is the only life sim game that pushes you past the fences and into a word of your own zoo. Create and customize your zoo experience and develop hands on relationships to earn the trust and love of your animals.

Zookeeper DVD. The animals at the Franklin Park Zoo decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret to zookeeper Griffin Keyes (Kevin James): They can talk!

GORILLAS IN OUR MIDST: THE STORY OF THE COLUMBUS ZOO GORILLAS has an honest approach to the evolution of the captive gorilla program at the Columbus Zoo. Easy and enjoyable read for anyone interested in the preservation of the species.

Pulled from the pages of the wildly popular ZooBorns blog, this picture book presents the most charming critters ever: baby animals, ranging from the adorable to the zany! Featuring full-color photographs on every page and a cozy text perfect for reading aloud, this book is bound to become a must-have for animal lovers of all ages.


"Beco's Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One" is a Columbus Zoo and Aquarium book about a real baby elephant born in the Columbus Zoo. Celebrating Beco's first birthday, "Beco's Big Year" features month-by month chapters with stories and pictures that show early elephant development milestones, and related facts about elephants.  

Opening day, September 18, 1875, dawned sunless and chilly, a shaky start for the second zoological garden in the United States, The Cincinnati Zoo. Exhibits were unfinished, and animals remained crated. The polar bear had not arrived, and the collection on display included a feeble tiger, a blind hyena, an elephant rescued from a bankrupt circus, a talking crow, eight small monkeys, and 400 birds. 

Wild Republic Bucket Zoo

What are your holiday gift ideas for zoo fans?