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Now that Night Hunters is open…

Night Hunters has been open for a few weeks now and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback, especially about how much better it smells 🙂 The Eurasian eagle owl that greets visitors as they enter the building is a big hit, too.

The Saving Species interactive kiosks where visitors can create their own digital ID signs for some of the small cats have been pretty popular. In just the first five days, about 780 signs were created!

Visitor-created ocelot ID sign

Visitor-created ocelot ID sign

People are scanning the Quick Response (QR) codes to download videos about the animals, too. In just the first two weeks, the QR codes in Night Hunters have been scanned more than 850 times. The ocelot video has been viewed the most so far.

There have been some questions about where all the animals that were on display in the old Nocturnal House and Cat House have gone. Some of them have been moved to other exhibit areas in the Zoo while others have been transferred to other zoos.

The armadillos, for example, rotate on exhibit in the Children’s Zoo and our roving interpreters often bring them out for live encounters, too.

Three-banded Armadillo

Three-banded Armadillo


Other previous residents that make live encounter appearances include the barn owl and coatimundi.

Barn owl

Barn owl


A two-toed sloth hangs out in a tree in the Discovery Forest (attached to the Education Center).

Two-toed Sloth

Two-toed Sloth


We have a serval  in our Cheetah Encounter program.

Serval (Photo: Connie Lemperle)

Serval (Photo: Connie Lemperle)


Some other exciting news since the Night Hunters opening – we’ve had a baby bearcat and a baby tayra born! Hopefully, we can get some pictures up soon.


1 gillian { 06.08.11 at 3:38 pm }

just really really wish that that snake was not in there. the cat house was always my fav—-but i do not like snakes

2 Monica { 06.08.11 at 3:48 pm }

I agree on the snake gillian! I hate that. And I hate the nobody seems to say whether the meerkats will be back or not.

3 gillian { 06.08.11 at 4:09 pm }

actually, i liked the old cat house better. and i love all the new things at the zoo, but no snake in a cat house. where are the meerkats and the rest of the cats? where is the snow leopard?

4 News From the Cincinnati Zoo » Cincinnati Zoo - Page 19 { 06.08.11 at 10:25 pm }

[…] used as live encounter animals. The Serval is now used in the Cheetah Encounter presentations. Now that Night Hunters is open… | Cincinnati Zoo Blog __________________________________________________ _________ Now that it's summer, several friends […]

5 Cathi { 06.08.11 at 11:00 pm }

I absolutely love how active the clouded leopards and ocelots are in the Night Hunters building. They are such shy creatures, and this new nocturnal environment seems to suite them very well. Do you leave the lights on at night, so as to reverse their day/night internal clocks?
I think this is an improvement over the cat house/nocturnal house setup because the cat house was becoming more of a smaller mammal house with additions like the coatimundi and bat-eared foxes etc so there really aren’t less cats in there, and the ones that are are more active as I said before. It also serves such an educational point allowing us to see that these cats and other animals don’t just lay around all the time. And that when given this specially designed enclosure , we get to witness them as the “night hunters” they really are.

6 Doug { 06.09.11 at 12:32 am }

I love the new Night Hunters exhibit!! Though I am curious to know what happened to the sugar gliders.

7 Shasta Bray { 06.09.11 at 2:07 pm }

I just talked with our Curator of Mammals and confirmed that the sugar gliders are now on exhibit in Jungle Trails, in place of where the pygmy slow loris used to be. The feather-tailed gliders are not on exhibit right now, but may be in the future.

8 Shasta Bray { 06.09.11 at 2:11 pm }

Glad you like it! Yes, the lights come on at night. The animals are still acclimating to this reverse light cycle. Perhaps the other animals will become more active as they get used to the change.

9 Shasta Bray { 06.09.11 at 2:15 pm }

Well, I guess snakes aren’t for everybody. We’d be overrun with rodents without snakes though!

As for meerkats, they are not currently on exhibit. There’s been some discussion of displaying them in the future African Savannah exhibit, but I haven’t heard anything definitively. They do make for quite an entertaining exhibit!

10 Shasta Bray { 06.09.11 at 2:24 pm }

While cats are a major feature of Night Hunters (with eight felid species on display), it’s certainly not exclusively a cat house. The cougar exhibit located just outside the building should open yet this summer. Next summer, Phase II of Cat Canyon will open with renovated exhibits for tigers as well as a new outdoor exhibit for snow leopards.

11 Amanda { 06.10.11 at 2:17 pm }

Is the baby bearcat Lucy’s son/daughter? I love Lucy and really enjoy seeing her whenever she visits UC!!

12 Quentin { 06.10.11 at 3:22 pm }

Thanks for all of the information about the species that were left out of Night Hunters. However, there are four that I’ve been wondering about: the two species of Douroucoulis, the Large-spotted Genet, and the Blind Cave Fish. I can’t wait to see the future developments with Cat Canyon!

13 Doug { 06.13.11 at 4:01 pm }

Thanks for the info on the sugar gliders!!! I’ll keep an eye out for them next time I’m at the zoo.

14 I love zoos { 06.18.11 at 1:25 pm }

The fennec foxes came right up to the side of the glass

15 Gab { 06.29.11 at 9:19 am }

the aardwolf was so cool he or she whatever came up to the glass and that was great I don’t know about you but i think Night Hunters is a success. i just wondered where are the snow leopards

16 Shasta Bray { 06.30.11 at 10:10 am }

No, the baby bearcat’s mother just recently came to us from another zoo, I believe

17 Shasta Bray { 06.30.11 at 10:11 am }

The douroucoulis, blind cave fish, and large-spotted genets are not on display anywhere at the moment. I’m not sure exactly what the curators have planned for those animals, whether they’ll go on exhibit elsewhere in the Zoo or be transferred to a different institution.

18 Shasta Bray { 06.30.11 at 10:13 am }

Glad you liked your visit to Night Hunters! The snow leopard is currently off exhibit. A new outdoor snow leopard exhibit will open as part of Phase II of Cat Canyon next spring/summer.

19 Quentin { 06.30.11 at 1:29 pm }

Thanks for the reply! 🙂

20 elizabeth { 08.19.11 at 4:04 am }

I was dissapointed when I went to the zoo this week to see the new cougar exhibit was not open. I had gotten an e-mail telling me it was open August 4, 2011. There were people and a dog standing in the exhibit, what happened?

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Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

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