The Toledo Zoo is a zoo located in Toledo, Ohio.
The zoo began in 1900 as the Toledo
Zoological Gardens and operated by the City of Toledo's Parks
Board. In 1982 ownership was transferred from the city to the
Toledo Zoological Society, a private non-profit organization, and
professionalized the zoo's management. Many of the zoo's original
buildings were built by the Works Progress Administration
and are still in use today.
The Toledo Zoo participates in over 30 Species Survival Plans
. It is also a
member of the Association of Zoos and
and the Butterfly Conservation Initiative.
has also been home to many firsts in the world of zoos; such as the
first hippoquarium (and subsequently the first video of a hippo
birth), as well as the only place in the world where the Kihansi Spray Toad is on display.
It also is only the second zoo in the world to have saddle-billed storks
as a part of its
When a woodchuck
was donated to the City
of Toledo in 1900, the idea of a zoo began.
Until 1982, it was run by the city. The Toledo Zoological Society
got a hold of the zoo that year, and that is when the zoo took off.
many new exhibits, including the African Savanna, home of the
In 1998, the zoo renovated the Aviary
was originally built around 1930.
In 1999, the Toledo Zoo received the Association of Zoos and
’ Exhibit Award for Excellence. In recent years, the
zoo built a pedestrian bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail.
! opened on May 1
and is large. The main exhibit, the
African plains, is . It has artificial termite mounds
for the free-roaming
African animals, such as the East
African Crowned Cranes
, Greater Kudu
, Helmeted Guineafowl
, Masai giraffe
, and wildebeest
There is also a section for African
. This is all viewed by visitors on an observation deck
or the Safari Railway,
which circles Africa! Children can ride the only African Animal
in existence. Africa! was built on
the site of the original gravel parking lot that existed before the
bridge was built.
This location is "naturally landscaped" and is aimed to feel like
an African safari
. This exhibit includes the
formally belonging to
Siegfried and Roy
, Cape clawless otters
, Kori Bustards
and white rhinos
. An African elephant
named Louie was born at the zoo on April
26, 2003, and there are plans underway to expand the elephant
habitat to accommodate him. It also includes several hippopotamuses
in the hippoquarium.
Visitors can view hippos from
The Toledo Zoo Hippoquarium is an underwater viewing exhibit for
hippopotami, the first of this kind in the world. It has made such
a great impact on the zoo that they actually made a new logo that
features the hippos. The Hippoquarium was rated by USA Today as one of the nation's ten best
animal exhibits, and was featured in National Geographic.
The Aquarium includes 253 different species of animals, with 2800
actual animals in the exhibit. It has one of the most diverse
collections of any zoo-aquarium in the United States. Included in
this exhibit are African cichlids
, Japanese spider
, moon jellies
, Giant Octopus
, and lake
. The Aquarium has a “Living Reef” exhibit, with many
types of corals, and a rainforest
exhibit, as well, which is large and features the two-toed sloth
The Arctic Encounter includes seals, both gray
, both of which can be viewed
both above and under water. Two waterfalls and 7 saltwater streams
are featured in this exhibit. There is also a gray wolf
exhibit that it part of the Arctic
The seals have a or land and of salt water. The polar bear exhibit
includes of land and of water. There is a freshwater stream filled
with fish during regular times. A "kids' cave" shows children and
adults what it is like to be a polar bear. Visitors watch through a
in the wolf exhibit, which
includes 4 gray wolf siblings born at the Wildlife Science Center
The aviary is one of the zoo's oldest buildings, built in 1937.
After being renovated in 1998, it received the Association of Zoos and
' Exhibit Award for Excellence. The renovated aviary
includes walk-through sections with hundreds of birds. The exhibit
hatched saddle-billed storks
making the Toledo Zoo one of the five zoos in the world to hatch
the animal, and one of three zoos to have them live over a month.
Other birds featured are burrowing
, Cuban Amazons
, Cuban Grassquits
, Green Broadbills
, Rhinoceros Hornbills
, and Victoria Crowned Pigeons
Bald Eagles are making a comeback,
thanks to zoos like Toledo Zoo.
The bald eagle
exhibit is right past the
pedestrian bridge ramp.
Cheetah Valley can be viewed from an observation deck
or from the fence.
from Namibia has had
several litters of cubs.
The Fisher-Price Children's Zoo is a petting
. The children's zoo reopened in 2006, with an “Animals A to
Zoo” alphabet theme. There is a Barnyard of the Zoo section, where
children can touch and learn about alpacas
, a dog
, guinea pigs
, and pigs
Kingdom of the Apes
In 1993, The Kingdom of the Apes first opened. Now, it holds
, and western lowland gorillas
gorillas have a Gorilla Meadow, which has an area of . The
chimpanzee and orangutan exhibits have pools in the outdoor space
and climbing structures.
Museum of Science
The exhibit includes two sub-exhibits, The Crawlspace and Amazing
Amphibians. The Crawlspace: A World of Bugs contains hundreds of
bugs. There are over 20 species in the section, such as beetles
, orb-weaver spiders
The Amazing Amphibians exhibit features over two dozen species of
, including the Kihansi spray toad
, the Wyoming toad
and the Japanese giant salamander
Completed in 2008, the exhibit features a nocturnal area at its
entrance and biosecure rooms that enable breeding of certain
The Primate Forest was first built in 1998 and features Allen’s swamp monkeys
, Colobus monkeys
, Diana monkeys
, Francois' Langurs
, and white-cheeked gibbons
. There is an
indoor and an outdoor exhibit, depending on the weather.
The Reptile House, which holds many turtles
, and snakes
built in 1934 and is one of seven "reptile houses" in the world.
The exhibit works to conserve the Aruba Island rattlesnake
Virgin Islands boa
, which got the
Toledo Zoo the Conservation Award from the American Zoo and Aquarium
´s twice: 1995 and 1998. The zoo also houses that
Kihansi Spray Toad
and is the
only place in the world where the public can view them, since it is
in the wild. The Toledo Zoo holds
half of the entire population of this species.
Snow leopards are an endangered
Visitors can view the snow leopards
through mesh netting. There are only 1000 snow leopards alive and
300 of those are in captivity
. Five of
that 300 were produced at the Toledo Zoo.
The Tiger Terrace has African
, Amur tigers
, Asian sloth bears
, and White-naped Cranes
. The zoo holds a female
tiger, along with her two cubs.
Built in 1904, the conservatory
tropical plants, such as the banana
, and palm
. There is a 200 flower rose
garden with the climber
, and grandiflora
. This section also
features a butterfly garden
The new, improved version of the Children's Zoo. It features cats,
dogs, a greater number of guinea pigs then were in the old
Children's Zoo, and a variety of birds. It has an outdoor
playground and a goat encounter area. It was opened on June 19,
Lights Before Christmas
The Lights Before Christmas is an annual event held by The Toledo
Zoo from November 16 to December 31. Most summer attractions and
exhibits are closed, but all the buildings and trees are decorated
with Christmas lights. It features over one million christmas lights, 200 animal images, ice
carvings, food, carolers, model trains from the Swanton Area Railroad, and Santa
Claus. An Norway Spruce
tree contains over 32,000 lights every year, which is more than the
Center Christmas tree.
The main show, Dancing
Lights, is near Cheetah Valley. It is repeated several times every
night. It uses LED
wide-angle mini lights that
flash along with Christmas music
All this is done using nearly of extension cords.
Frozentoesen is an annual winter-themed event lasting from January
through February. It features professional ice carving
demonstrations, "Cabin Fever Feeds", musical and theatrical
performances in an indoor theater, and other special activities.
Many of the outdoor animal exhibits are closed during these months,
but all of the indoor exhibits remain open to the public. Zoo
admission is also half-price during this event.
The Toledo Zoo is a member of the Butterfly Conservation
Initiative, the American Association of Zoo Keepers, the Seafood Watch
program, and Coins for
Conservation. The zoo also has a Green Team and recycles.