The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, is the second-oldest zoo in the United States and is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It opened in 1875: just 14 months after the Philadelphia Zoo on July 1, 1874. The Reptile House is the oldest zoo building in America, dating from 1875.The Cincinnati Zoo, which has been rated (on numerous occasions) as one of the top zoos in the country, resides in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Avondale. It was founded on 65 acres (260,000 m²) in the middle of the city, and since then it has acquired some of the surrounding blocks and several reserves in Cincinnati's outer suburbs. Cincinnati Zoo's urban setting differentiates it from other American zoos which are in suburban areas. Nicknamed "The Sexiest Zoo in America" it is world renowned for its breeding programs, especially for cheetahs. A bonobo born at the zoo in December 2003 raises the U.S. zoo population of our rapidly-disappearing closest cousin to 60, of which seven are in Cincinnati. A less happy claim to fame is that the Cincinnati Zoo was the home of Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, which died there in 1914. It also was home to the last living Carolina parakeet in 1918.
© Jonathan Valin