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Toledo Zoo

Toledo Zoo is a zoo located in Toledo, Ohio. Toledo Zoo is a zoo located in Toledo, Ohio.The zoo began in 1900 as Toledo Zoological Gardens and operated by the City of Toledo's Parks Board. In 1982 ownership was transferred from the city to 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.

Toledo Zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and participates in over 30 Species Survival Plans. It is also a member of the Butterfly Conservation Initiative (BFCI). The zoo 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 being the first place in the world to display the Kihansi Spray Toad.

Exhibits: Africa!: Africa! opened on May 1, 2004 and is 12 acres (49,000 m2) large. The main exhibit, the African plains, is 5 acres (20,000 m2). It has artificial termite mounds for the free-roaming African animals, such as the East African Crowned Cranes, Grant's Zebra, Greater Kudu, Helmeted Guineafowl, impala, Masai giraffe, Nile lechwe, ostrich, and wildebeest.

African Savanna (Now known as "Tembo Trail: Elephants of the Savanna"): Zoo exhibit design trends began to change in the late '70s and early '80s. Zoo boards and directors saw a need to move animals out of sterlie, iron-barred cages and into more naturalistic exhibits that help educate the public. In 1981, noted architectural firm Jones & Jones was tapped to conceptualize a bold master plan for the zoo.

With input from famed zoo architect Jon Coe, the zoo drew-up plans for its first immersion exhibit and a first-of-its-kind exhibit, The Hippoquarium. Opened in 1986, African Savanna led visitors on a safari-like expedition through the major biomes of Africa; the river, the woodlands, the savanna, and the rock kopje.

Tembo Trail: Elephants of the Savanna (Formally African Savanna): The African Elephant enclosure of the African Savanna exhibit was renovated and expanded during two phases of construction. The renovated exhibit, now called "Tembo Trail: Elephants of the Savanna", opened in May 2012.

The redesigned area features an enlarged enclosure for African Elephant cows and a new yard for African Elephant bulls. The new bull yard replaces the site that was once the Children's Zoo. The zoo currently has four African Elephants, two males and two females.

Aquarium: The Aquarium is home to 2800 individuals of 253 species. It has one of the most diverse collections of any zoo-aquarium in the United States.This exhibit includes African cichlids, arapaima, discus, flashlight fish, Japanese spider crabs, moon jellies, Giant Pacific Octopus, piranhas, and lake sturgeons.

The Aquarium has a "Living Reef" exhibit, with many types of corals, and a rainforest exhibit covering 2,500 square feet (230 m2) that features the two-toed sloth.

Arctic Encounter: The Arctic Encounter includes Wolves, seals, both gray and harbor, polar bears, 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 is part of the Arctic Encounter.

Aviary: 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 Aquariums' Exhibit Award for Excellence. The renovated aviary includes walk-through sections with hundreds of birds. The exhibit hatched saddle-billed storks, making 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.

Bald Eagles: The bald eagle exhibit is near the pedestrian bridge ramp and initially featured eagle rescue. The first inhabitants had an injured wing and a blind eye respectively.

Cheetah Valley: Cheetah Valley can be viewed from an observation deck or from the fence. One female from Namibia has had several litters of cubs.

Children's Zoo: The Fisher-Price Children's Zoo is a petting zoo. 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, chickens, a dog, goats, guinea pigs, owls, and pigs. However, this no longer exists due to the opening of Nature's Neighborhood, which is very similar.

Reptile House: The Reptile House, which holds many turtles, lizards, and snakes, was built in 1934 and is one of seven "reptile houses" in the world. The exhibit works to conserve the Aruba Island rattlesnake and Virgin Islands boa, which got Toledo Zoo the Conservation Award from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association´s twice: 1995 and 1998.

For some time, Toledo Zoo in Ohio was the only place in the world where the Kihansi Spray Toad was on display to the public. But the Bronx Zoo in New York City also has several hundred Kihansi Spray Toads, and it opened a small exhibit in February 2010.

Events: The 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 85-foot (26 m) Norway Spruce tree contains over 32,000 lights every year, which is more than the Rockefeller 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 10 miles (16 km) of extension cords.

Frozentoesen: 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.