Zoo Tours Ep. 79: Africa at the Cincinnati Zoo (2008)

The Cincinnati Zoo is known for keeping its history alive and well, even in their newer projects at times – fortunately, not here! They took an eight acre parking lot, at the time it was their last bit of major undeveloped land – and piece by piece an element of Africa was added over an eight year span. Five phases representing the grasslands, drylands, lagoons and rivers all in one. It may very well be the zoo’s top attraction for decades, upon decades to come. Giraffes at your level, lions that look like they could hunt the prey right in front of them, one of the most diverse savanna’s in a park, painted dog pups wrestling in the pool, and of course we can’t leave out the world famous Princess Fiona. It’s another zoo tours epic two years in the making – and by far the most extensive episode to date. I hope you enjoy the best my hometown has to offer.

No. of New Species to the Channel: 5

Species Special: Fiona, the hippo!

Full Species List:

Masai Giraffe
Greater Flamingo
African Lion
Cheetah, Red River Hog, Serval, Crested Porcupine
White-bearded Wildebeest, Impala, Lesser Kudu, Thomson’s Gazelle, Pink-backed Pelican, Ostrich, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Saddle-billed Stork, Grey Crowned Crane, Kenyan Crested Guineafowl
African Painted Dog
Slender-tailed Meerkat
Nile Hippopotamus, Nile Tilapia

#cincinnatizoo, #cincinnati, #zootours


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  1. Maps, Facts & More!

    Original Plan: https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/the-original-plans-of-africa.408693/full?d=1533417620

    Original Plan #2: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=Africa_cincinnati_zoo.png

    Final Plan: https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/map-labels-of-cincinnati-zoos-africa.408692/full?d=1533417620

    With so much backtracking, here’s a map that shows where we are at what times: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?venotify=saved&file=Africa_Where_you_are.png

    Base Camp Cafe and Plains Rendering: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=Africa_cincinnatizoo-900.jpg

    Construction Photos I took when I worked there:

    Before and After Lion Exhibit: https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/before-and-after-of-the-lion-exhibit-same-perspective.338231/full?d=1474655259

    Before and After of Lion/Plains Exhibit: https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/2012-to-2015-before-and-after-of-africa.309249/full?d=1446407033

    Before and After Plains: https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/before-and-after-of-the-african-plains-same-perspective.338230/full?d=1474655165

    Painted Dog Exhibit: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=DSCN3654.jpg

    Meerkat Exhibit (Opened with Bat-eared Foxes: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=DSCN3661.jpg

    Plains weeks before opening: https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=DSCN3658.jpg

    Hoofstock Outdoor Pens (Temporarily had an Okapi before all the other animals showed up): https://travel.fandom.com/wiki/Cincinnati_Zoo_and_Botanical_Garden?file=DSCN3656.jpg

    Other facts not in the video
    1. Both the giraffe and flamingo exhibits had a grey crowned crane at one point.
    2. Ruddy shelducks were once in the Plains but fell in the lion exhibit several times (no accidents)
    3. The lions often successfully hunt turtles and birds.
    4. There's an interpretive station where keepers bring out smaller animals to get upclose encounters with guests. I've seen: Crested porcupine, Greater flamingo, Lesser tenrec, pygmy falcon, yellow-billed hornbill, various snakes and insects
    5. Original Plains lineup: Grant’s gazelle, Eiland, Lesser kudu, Guineafowl, Zebra, White-backed vulture, Ruppell’s vulture, Wildebeest
    6. The painted dog exhibit was set to be half the size that it ended up being.
    7. The crocodile/hippo setup was on the revised plan, the original says the hippo home would go all the way to the meerkat spot.
    8. During that mentioned volunteer orientation in 2009, the speaker mentioned hippos would be behind the giraffes in the Discovery Forest parking lot.

  2. I live in the netherlands and there is a very nice zoo its very natural, you should check it out on yt! It has an amazing jungle with capibaras, otters, birds, caiman and much more. It also has the biggest reef in whole europe. And a very nice mangrove with all kinds of fish, butterfly, crabs and manatee! Its called Burger's zoo

  3. I really wish I could have seen John in person when I was in Cincinnati two years ago. But on the bright side, I saw Imani and then when I was in DC last October, I saw John’s father Luke. You guys have a great royal couple in John and Imani!

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