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Category — Jungle Trails

Come Celebrate Ape Awareness Days!

It’s time to go bananas again at the Zoo’s annual Ape Awareness Days weekend, free with regular Zoo admission. From 10:00 to 3:00 on September 12 and 13, guests are invited to learn more about apes and how we can help save them in the wild at the Jungle Trails and Gorilla World exhibits.

Volunteers will be on hand at the orangutan exhibit to introduce guests to our shaggy, red-haired friends, Henry and Lana. There has been some good news for orangutans in the Malaysian state of Sarawak recently. The Chief Minister announced his intentions to enact new projects that will protect orangutans and other wildlife from their major threats of illegal logging and clearing forest for oil palm plantations.

Henry is watching out for you! (Photo: Jeff McCurry)

Henry is watching out for you! (Photo: Jeff McCurry)

One way we as consumers can help protect orangutans is by purchasing products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. The world’s most popular vegetable oil, palm oil is used in many of our everyday foods and products. Products made with sustainable palm oil, which is produced without clear cutting forests and harming wildlife, are listed in the Zoo’s Sustainable Shopper App. Download it and use it during your next shopping trip to make sure the products you buy are orangutan-friendly.

At the bonobo exhibit in Jungle Trails, guests can visit with their own closest non-human relatives. Baby Bo, who was born in March, is growing more independent and curious every day. You’ll want to see him before he’s all grown up! Here guests will learn what makes an ape different from other primates and test their own ape-identifying skills.

Bo and his mother, Zanga (Photo: Shasta Bray)

Bo and his mother, Zanga (Photo: Shasta Bray)

Over at Gorilla World, the big news, of course, is that Anju recently gave birth to the 50th gorilla born at the Zoo since 1970. The little girl is Anju’s first and Jomo’s third baby. Mondika, who was born last summer, is now a big sister! Swing by the Gorilla Wild Discover Zone during Ape Awareness Days to get the full scoop and latest news on the baby.

Anju and her new baby

Anju and her new baby

We also encourage you to bring any old cell phones you may have around the house and drop them in one of our cell phone recycling bins. Cell phones contain an ore called Coltan that is mined in gorilla and bonobo habitat in Africa. Recycling cell phones reduced the demand to mine more Coltan and helps preserve habitat.

We hope you will come on out on September 12 and 13 and celebrate Ape Awareness Days with us and the rest of the primates at the Zoo!

September 10, 2015   No Comments

Cincinnati Zoo Recognized by American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has chosen the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for two exciting new awards in excellence: the Sustainability Excellence Award and the Excellence in Exhibition Award.  These award competitions were chosen by a committee from the American Alliance of Museums and in the midst of a competitive lineup between other zoos, museums, and aquariums.

The first award obtained by the Cincinnati Zoo is the Sustainability Excellence award.  The purpose of this award is to educate, facilitate, and encourage green practice and to acknowledge and celebrate leaders in environmental sustainability.  The Zoo has been made a model for environmental sustainability based on this award.


The second award given to the Cincinnati Zoo was the Excellence in Exhibition Award.  This award was given to the Zoo on behalf of their Jungle Trails exhibit for “Special distinction, exemplary model of creating experiences for social engagement.”  The judges on the committee for this award were impressed with the Zoo’s social engagement and listening to their visitors’ voices in creating a multi-sensory experience.

balance family with sign

 The photos above show a few examples of the interactive experiences that guests can explore in the Jungle Trails Exhibit. The Swing like a Gibbon interaction, on the left, is two parallel sets of monkey bars – one at kid height, one at adult height. This encourages guests to race as well as to collaborate to get their whole troop across without touching the ground like a family of gibbons would do in the wild.  The Balance like a Lemur interactive experience is two parallel ropes that are suspended a few inches off the ground.  The main goal is to get across, walking on the ropes and holding onto the dangling ones for balance – our most popular with guests!

The Cincinnati Zoo is very pleased to have been awarded these honors, and will continue to strive for award-winning exhibits as well as sustainable facilities around the Zoo as they continue their “Greenest Zoo in America” campaign.  For more information about the American Alliance of Museums and their awards, please visit http://www.aam-us.org/.

June 12, 2014   No Comments

My Summer Interpretive Media Internship

Guest blogger:  Crissi Lanier, Interpretive Media Intern

This summer I’ve had the great opportunity to be  an Interpretive Media Intern at the Cincinnati Zoo.  When I began in June I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was excited. The summer experiences certainly haven’t lessened that excitement.  I’ve been assisting Shasta Bray, the Interpretive Media Manager, in three main areas.

First, I’ve been writing blogs on various topics from how to tell our elephants apart to the new Africa exhibit.  Writing about different experiences I’ve had at the Zoo as part of the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) has been fun, both because of the actual writing as well as sharing my experiences with others.

In addition to the blogs, I’ve been updating and creating animal pages for the Zoo website.  This has been one of my favorite projects because I have learned so much about species I have never heard of or paid attention to before this summer.  I’ve become much more comfortable with the Zoo and what can be found where in the exhibits. I don’t know where everything is yet, but I certainly feel more at ease than before.

Say Hello to Moe every time I come for a meeting!

I say hello to Moe every time I come to the Education Center for a meeting!

Both of these projects have allowed me to incorporate one of my other passions – photography.  I have been fortunate to be able to include some of my personal photos on the animal pages and blogs, which is very rewarding.

One last project has been helping to find out how visitors feel about the new interactives in Jungle Trails. We have completed observations and short interviews about each interactive as well as the overall opinion of the new installments. Everyone seems to really enjoy them!  Read more about them here.

Morning walk through Jungle Trails

Morning walk through Jungle Trails

The greatest part of this internship has been all the great people I’ve met and had the chance to get to know.  Everyone truly seems to love their job at the Zoo in all departments. Learning from Shasta has been such a great experience. Much of what you see throughout the Zoo has Shasta’s personal touch to make it look just right while also engaging and educating visitors.  She works with a team from Graphics and Marketing to fine tune each piece.  I rarely thought about all the signs and information that are presented throughout the Zoo and how these pieces were produced.  This summer has given me a whole new perspective on them and why certain pieces are located where they are; it’s not by accident!

Shasta Bray and I

Shasta Bray (left) and me (right)

Overall, this internship has been an experience of a lifetime and the only negative part is that it has to end! There has never been a day I wasn’t excited to come to the Zoo. Each morning as I head to the Education Center, I pass through the P&G Discovery Forest, where I say hello to sweet Moe the sloth and beautiful Leroy the blue and gold macaw.

LeRoy in P&G Discovery Forest

Leroy in the P&G Discovery Forest

After all, who else gets to walk through a rainforest on their way to a meeting or hang out with orangutans on their breaks!

Hello Lana!

Hello Lana!

August 28, 2013   4 Comments