The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is a family-friendly animal sanctuary that is home to over 4,800 animals from 700 species on 55 acres of beautifully landscapes grounds. Established over 100 years ago as the Toledo Zoological Gardens, the Toledo Zoo features a variety of habitats in which the animals live, ranging from the wild savannahs of Africa and the icy Arctic Tundra to the sun-baked sands of the Sonoran Desert and the tropical forests of South America. Animals at the Zoo range from majestic bald eagles and large African elephants to insects, spiders and tiny toads and the Zoo has been home to several firsts, such as the first hippoquarium and video of a hippo birth, as well as being the first place to display the Kihansi spray toad.
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The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium was established as the Toledo Zoological Gardens in 1900 when a woodchuck was donated to the city. The city ran the Zoo until 1982 when the Toledo Zoological Society took over and added many new exhibits such as the Hippoquarium and the African Savannah. Other displays and features to be added included the newly renovated Aviary, which was initially built around 1930 and a pedestrian bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail.
Collections / Exhibits
Exhibits at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium include Africa!, which features a five-acre landscape of the African plains with artificial termite mounds and free-roaming animals such as greater kudu, Grant’s zebra, impala, Nile lechwe, watusi cattle, East African crowned cranes, Masai giraffe, ostrich, wildebeest, and a special space for cheetahs. Visitors can view the section from an observation deck or the Safari Railway, which circles the enclosure and children can ride a unique African animal carousel.
The Aquarium features 178,000 US gal of water and is home to over 3,000 aquatic animals, ranging from fish and turtles to jellyfish and eels. A touch tank houses stingrays and sharks for visitors to interact with.
The Arctic Encounter exhibit is a vast enclosure with both land and water environments and is home to polar bears, gray and harbor seals, and wolves.
The Bald eagle's exhibit is home to rescued bald eagles, and the Valley house a herd of reindeer. Nature's Neighborhood can be found next to the Museum of Science and features a treehouse, a forest room, live animal shows, a workshop, a climbing wall and Jumping Junction. The Kingdom of the Apes has a vast Gorilla Meadow with climbing structures and an outdoor pool and houses western lowland gorillas, and orangutans.
The Museum of Science exhibit features two sub-exhibits, Amazing Amphibians, and The Crawlspace: A World of Bugs, which contains over 20 species such as cockroaches, beetles, scorpions, centipedes, orb-weaver spiders, stick insects, and tarantulas. The Amazing Amphibians exhibit features over two dozen species of caecilians, salamanders, and frogs, such as the Japanese giant salamander, the Kihansi spray toad, and the Wyoming toad.
The Penguin Beach is an outdoor exhibit with a little overhead bridge and an underwater viewing area for visitors to experience African penguins in their natural habitat.
The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, ranging from summer camps, and overnight stays, to outreach and assembly programs, and behind-the-scenes tours. Children’s programs include homeschooling, Zoo pre-school programs, and zoo camps, while school programs include scavenger hunts, field trips, teacher workshops, learning resources, and assembly programs. The Zoo hosts an array of events throughout the year, such as ‘The Lights Before Christmas,’ and ‘Winter Weekends’ and conservation efforts include several projects across the world.
Conservation programs include the West Indian boa conservation, the Aruba Island rattlesnake program, and the Kihansi spray toad program. The Zoo also has a department called Wild Toledo, which focuses on local conservation efforts and scientific research and runs three summer field camps in field research and conservation young teenagers interested in those spheres.
Fun activities at the Zoo include an Aerial Adventure Course, Nature’s Neighborhood, and Toledo Zoo Rides such as an African Carousel, a Safari Railway Train, and a Vintage Carousel.
The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is located at 2 Hippo Way in Toledo and is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Zoo has several concessions from casual dining restaurants to goodies-on-the go, including the Carnivore Café in the Main Plaza and the Timberline Bakery in the North Star Trading Post® which is located near the main entrance.
2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609, Phone: 419-385-5721