Located in the fourth most populous city in the U.S. State of Ohio, Toledo Zoo began during the 1900s as Toledo Zoological Gardens.
Previously owned and operated by the City of Toledo’s Parks Board, Toledo Zoological Gardens and today operated by the private non-profit organization, Toledo Zoological Society; Toledo Zoo is a member of both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
A member of the Butterfly Conservative Initiative and participating in more than 30 Species Survival Plans Toledo Zoo is home to many firsts including the first hippoquarium and recorded the first video of a hippopotamus giving birth. Toledo Zoo is also the first zoo to display the Kihansi spray toad endemic to Tanzania.
Facts About the Toledo Zoo
- In 2004 Toledo Zoo opened its main exhibit, the African plains. The exhibit which sits on over 20,000 square meters of the original gravel parking lot includes, artificial termite mounds for free-roaming African animals such as the ostrich, the helmeted guineafowl, the black crowned crane, the wasserbock and several other species native to the African plains. The exhibit also features a section used for its African wild dogs native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Viewers can watch the exhibit from an observation deck or by way of the Safari Railway.
- The Toledo Zoo was first established in 1900 following the donation of a woodchuck to the City of Toledo. The zoo was managed by the City of Toledo until 1982 when ownership was transferred to the Toledo Zoological Society.
- In 1988 following the success of the zoos’ Hippoquarium exhibit Toledo Zoo was selected as the place of exhibit for two giant pandas on loan from China. During this period the zoo became the center of a lawsuit form the World Wildlife Foundation now World Wide Fund for Nature against the fees charged by the zoo for admission to the panda exhibit.
- In 1998 Toledo Zoo renovated its Aviary. One of the zoo’s oldest buildings, originally built in 1937 the new aviary now includes a walk-through exhibit featuring hundreds of birds including the burrowing owls, Cuban grassquits, sunbitterns and Victoria crowned pigeons native to New Guinea. Toledo Zoo is one of five zoos in the world to hatch the saddle-billed stork.
- In 1998 Toledo Zoo built its Primate Forest exhibit. The exhibit which features several species of monkeys and lemurs, now includes red pandas added in 2015.
- Toledo Zoo in 1999 received the American Zoo and Aquarium Associations’ Exhibit Award for Excellence.
- Completed in 2008 the Toledo Zoo Museum of Science consists of two exhibits. Amazing Amphibians which contains over a dozen species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians, and the Crawlspace featuring over 20 species of beetles, cockroaches, spiders, scorpions and other insects.
- In 2010 a male baby giraffe named Enzi was born at the Toledo Zoo.
- In 2012 Toledo Zoo closed its aquarium for renovations. The new aquarium which was reopened in March 2015 contained more than 3000 aquatic animals in over 670,000 gallons of water; four times the size of its previous aquarium.
- In 2014 the National Newspaper USA TODAY ranked the Toledo Zoo as America’s No.1 zoo.
- In 2014 Toledo Zoo built its Penguin Beach outdoor exhibit which includes an small overhead bridge and underwater viewing area.
- Originally built in 1934 the Toledo Zoo Reptile house exhibit is one of seven “reptile houses” in the world. The exhibit which holds several species of lizards, snakes and turtles works works for the conservation of the Crotalus durissus unicolor native to the Caribbean Island of Aruba and the Epicrates monensis commonly referred to as the Mona boa native to the West Indies. Notably Toledo Zoo Reptile House twice won the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Conservation Award, first in 1995 and again in 1998. In 2010 Toledo Zoo added a 17-foot saltwater crocodile, Baru to its Reptile House exhibit.
- Of the known population of about 1000 snow leopards, five out of the 300 which are in captivity today were produced at Toledo Zoo.
- Toledo Zoos’ conservatory built in 1904 features a wide variety of tropical plants, such as ferns, bromeliads, palms and even bananas. The conservatory also contains a 200 flower rose garden and even at one time featured a butterfly house exhibit.
- Between November 16 through to December 31 Toledo Zoo hosts its annual Lights Before Christmas event featuring over one million Christmas lights, more than 200 animal images, food, model trains, and ice carvings.
- Toledo Zoos’ Winter Weekends event is held from January to February. This annual winter-themed event features musical and theatrical performances among several other entertaining activities at half-price the Zoos’ normal admission.
Toledo Zoo Live Webcams
Toledo Zoo Hippopotamus Cam 1 and 2
In 1986 the zoo opened the Phase 1 of its African Savanna exhibit now known as “Tembo Trail: Elephants of the Savanna”. The exhibit which included a Hippoquarium takes the visitor on an immersion exhibit (the first of its kind) through the major biomes of Africa. Phase 2 was opened the following year. Click on the link below to view the Toledo Hippopotamus Cam.
View Toledo Zoo Hippopotamus Webcam 1.
View Toledo Zoo Hippopotamus Webcam 2.
Toledo Zoo Kingdom of the Apes exhibit
Toledo Zoo opened its Kingdom of the Apes exhibit in 1993. The exhibit which houses orangutans and western lowland gorillas has an Gorilla Meadow for its gorillas and outdoor space with climbing structures and pool for its orangutans.Click on the link below to watch the Toledo Zoo Gorilla Cam.
View Toledo Zoo Gorilla Cam.
The Toledo Zoo Tiger Terrace Webcam
Toledo Zoo Tiger Terrace exhibit features Siberian tigers, Asian sloth bears and white-naped cranes native to northeastern Mongolia, northeastern China and the adjacent areas of southeastern Russia. The Zoo is also home to a female tiger and her two cubs. Click on the link below to watch the Toledo Zoo Tiger Terrace Webcam.
View Tiger Cam 1.
View Tiger Cam 2.
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