The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

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The opening of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden sounds like a goofy family comedy, but it quickly became one of the most popular attractions in Ohio. Opening day, September 18, 1875, was overcast and chilly, a shaky start for the second zoological garden in the United States. Exhibits were unfinished, and animals remained crated. The polar bear had not arrived, and the collection on display included a feeble tiger, a blind hyena, an elephant rescued from a bankrupt circus, a talking crow, eight small monkeys, and 400 birds. Despite the rough start, the venture by bird-lover Andrew Erkenbrecher and friends blossomed into a top-tier zoo inspiring a passion for nature-a champion of endangered species with its own college-preparatory high school and an unrivaled commitment to education, research, and innovative breeding programs. It has survived Damocles' sword of economic cuts as stubborn Cincinnatians came to its rescue time after time, charmed by the animals and events found here: chimps Mr. and Mrs. Rooney, Susie the Gorilla who took tea and smoked Chesterfields, Rodney the boxing kangaroo, Martha the last passenger pigeon on earth, outdoor operas, and dancing under the stars.
ISBN: 9780738577821
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Ohio
Series: Images of America
Images: 175
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden opened its files for this visual history to Joy W. Kraft, who has written thousands of stories in her 30-plus years with the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati Post.