What’s new at the Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo has been undergoing some major construction these last few years, and my kids delight in the big construction machines every time we visit. If you haven’t been to the Zoo in awhile, you’ll be surprised by some notable changes.

As we get into spring and summer, chances are you’ll be spending some time at this beloved attraction; here’s what’s new at the Cincinnati Zoo!

Fun perks for members

Being a member of the Zoo gets you access to the coolest club in Cincinnati! In addition to a full list of perks, now members can join a special Facebook page with exclusive deals, helpful tips and even an up-to-date “traffic” report on how crowded the Zoo is at any given time of day!

New Zoo Babies

Each May, the Zoo celebrates its newest members during Zoo Babies. But you don’t have to wait until May to see these newbies – you can see Taffy the Flamingo, Kendi the Black Rhino, Lessnau and Jerri the Ring-tailed lemurs, Windsor the Aardvark and Miles and Matthew the Manatees now! (And of course, #TeamFiona is out and about when the weather’s over 50 degrees and sunny!)

The entrance

The Zoo’s two rhinos at the entrance were iconic – what Cincy kid hasn’t posed with them for a photo opp? Well it’s 2018 and Cincinnatians are crazy for hippos, and now you’ll find two big hippos greeting your family at the entrance. Harvey loved climbing on and posing “like a hippo” for a photo. (By the way, tag your pics #CincyZooPic!) 

Gorilla World

After two years of construction, the new indoor gorilla habitat is finally open! Gorilla World now has floor-to-ceiling viewing glass that lets kids get up close to the gorillas. The Zoo has made animals #CloseEnoughToCare with these types of exhibits, which you’ll also find in Hippo Cove, Africa and Cat Canyon.


While not brand new, the Zoo’s Africa exhibit is one of the newest – and it’s absolutely stunning. This sprawling exhibit literally takes guests to an African Safari, right here in Cincinnati! Rolling, open land let you gaze at gazelles, ostrich, impalas and vultures. There are face-to-face encounters with meerkats, lions, giraffes, painted dogs and hippos. You can easily spend an afternoon just in Africa!

Jambo moved to Columbus

In March, the Zoo’s six-year-old giraffe Jambo was transported to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. As a Maasai giraffe, Jambo will be be paired with a genetically-valuable male to breed. This kind of breeding is key to maintaining the genetic diversity of this species in North American Zoos!

New construction

The Zoo continues to improve and expand its exhibits and animal habitats. Wings of the World just reopened and looks completely different – it’s brighter, more colorful and has an interactive and educational area just for kids! Currently, Monkey Island is undergoing some major construction, so this kid favorite is closed for the time being. Within some of the exhibits, you’ll find smaller construction projects and temporary closures where habitats are being revamped. There is new signage throughout the Zoo, as well.

Change is a natural part of life – and the Zoo is a celebration of life. Right now, the Zoo is decorated with thousands of flowers for Zoo blooms as a celebration of spring; next month, it’s all about the Zoo Babies. Be sure to take your family to the Zoo sometime soon to enjoy the season we’re in – because that will quickly change again!

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