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Category — Exhibits

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

Successful Fixed Time Artificial Insemination in the Fishing Cat

CREW continues to make progress in improving the success of artificial insemination (AI) for propagating endangered
cats. In recent research, we incorporated treatment with oral progesterone (Regumate) into our AI protocol for domestic cats to down-regulate ovarian function prior to ovarian stimulation. This approach allows us to control ovarian activity more precisely and conduct AI procedures on a fixed time schedule.

Dr. William Swanson performs an AI procedure.

Dr. William Swanson performs an AI procedure.

Our first attempt using this method in exotic felids involved our fishing cat named Ratana,who was incapable of breeding naturally after losing a front leg due to injury. Ratana was fed a small amount of oral progesterone daily for one month to suppress her ovarian activity and then treated with gonadotropins to induce follicular growth and ovulation. Laparoscopic AI of both oviducts with freshly collected sperm from our resident male, named Gorton, resulted in conception and the birth of a male fishing cat kitten after a 69 day gestation.

Ratana and her kitten in her nest box

Ratana and her kitten in her nest box

This kitten was the first non-domestic cat born following the use of oral progesterone for fixed time AI, and represents the fifth cat species (fishing cat, ocelot, Pallas’ cat, tiger, domestic cat) that we have produced with oviductal AI. This new approach could greatly advance our capacity to use AI for the genetic management of endangered felid species.

Fishing cat (Photo: Connie Lemperle)

Fishing cat (Photo: Connie Lemperle)

April 11, 2014   1 Comment

Lessons from the Passenger Pigeon

Guest blogger: Sophie Williams, Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) student and consultant on the Passenger Pigeon Memorial renovation

Did you know that the male passenger pigeon could fly up to 60 miles per hour? Find out what nickname this earned the pigeon from our Director of Education, Dan Marsh, as he is interviewed for Kentucky Afield. He discusses how the loss of the passenger pigeon was one of the key motivators for today’s conservation movement. Learn more about the passenger pigeon, what the skies were like when filled with these birds, and the important lessons they left in their wake.

Passenger Pigeon (Photo: J.G. Hubbard)

Passenger Pigeon (Photo: J.G. Hubbard)


Don’t forget, you can get involved by holding a Project Passenger Pigeon event in your community! You could download a variety of educational materials for use in your class or organization, put on an origami pigeon parade, or host a speaker in your school or community. Visit Project Passenger Pigeon’s website for more information. How will you get involved?

To read the other posts in this series, click here. Join us next month as we take a look at species conservation at the Cincinnati Zoo. 

February 7, 2014   No Comments