Life in Delaware County

Columbus Zoo Offering Free Admission on Presidents’ Day

16 Feb , 2020  

On Presidents’ Day, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is continuing the tradition of offering free admission on this holiday originally created in honor of our nation’s first president, George Washington. On Monday, this special promotion, presented by Fifth Third Bank, will be extended to every guest to enjoy the Zoo and see their favorite animal friends. More…

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History/Tourism

Visit The Zoo For Free

24 Jan , 2020  

This year, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will continue its tradition of offering free admission on President’s Day.

The offer will be valid during operating hours (10 AM to 4 PM) on February 17. Standard parking fees ($10 per vehicle, free for Zoo members) will still apply. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Columbus Zoo Issues Update On Australian Wildlife Support

13 Jan , 2020  

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been working with conservation partners in Australia to identify ways to best provide support to efforts helping wildlife impacted by the fires. President/CEO Tom Stalf has issued the following update:

“Our hearts go out to the people and wildlife of Australia, and we continue to follow the situation closely while remaining in regular communication with our Australian colleagues and wildlife conservation partners. When our conservation partners alert us to emergencies such as these terrible wildfires that threaten their projects and communities, we respond with technical expertise and financial support. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Endangered Turtles Hatched In Breeding Milestone

8 Dec , 2019  

Two new babies at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium may be tiny, but they bring big hopes for one of the most endangered species on the planet. On November 1 and 3, reptile keepers at the Zoo’s Shores region successfully hatched these rare yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii), the first ever hatched in an indoor zoological environment. The breakthrough is critical in efforts to boost the numbers of temple turtles, which are facing extinction. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Polar Bear Cub Born At Columbus Zoo On Thanksgiving Day

30 Nov , 2019  

One of Delaware County’s newest residents is very small and very furry.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, to mother, Aurora, and father, Lee. The Animal Care team notes that Aurora is being an attentive mother to her new cub, who has been observed nursing. As Aurora continues to care for her cub, she and her little one will remain in their private denning area behind the scenes until spring. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Wildlights Continues Through January 5

27 Nov , 2019  

It’s beginning to look a lot like Wildlights season at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! One of Central Ohio’s most cherished holiday traditions, Wildlights, efficiently powered by AEP Ohio, will run through January 5.

This year marks the 31st Wildlights season with more holiday cheer than ever before. The entire Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland covered in millions of LED lights. Some of this year’s main Wildlights attractions include: More…

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Life in Delaware County

Zoo Salutes Families On Veterans Day

9 Nov , 2019  

To honor our veterans and the sacrifices made to serve our nation, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will host its “Veterans Free Day at the Zoo” event on Monday, November 11. During this special event, military personnel, both past and present, and their immediate family can enjoy free admission to the Zoo for the day. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Columbus Zoo And Aquarium Manatees Return To Florida

1 Nov , 2019  

After being rescued as orphans off the coast of Florida in early 2018, manatees Carmen and Heavy Falcon have completed their rehabilitation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and began their journey back to Florida late Monday night.

A member of the Zoo’s Animal Care team, along with one of the Zoo’s staff veterinarians, traveled with Carmen and Heavy Falcon and confirmed that they arrived safely at SeaWorld Orlando, where both manatees will complete their final preparations to be returned to the areas in Florida from which they were initially rescued.

Female manatee, Carmen, was rescued as a young calf, along with her mother, on February 8, 2018 off the coast of Florida. When rescuers discovered them, they found that Carmen was showing signs of cold stress and her mother was negatively buoyant. Unfortunately, just two days after their rescue, Carmen’s mother succumbed to her serious injuries, leaving her calf an orphan. Carmen began to build up her strength while in the care of a team of experts at SeaWorld Orlando before moving to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to complete her rehabilitation. She initially arrived at the Zoo without a name, and so a public naming opportunity, presented by Kroger, was launched on June 8, 2018, coinciding with World Oceans Day. On June 22, 2018, the Zoo announced that Carmen was the name that received the most website votes—a nod to “Carmen Ohio,” The Ohio State University’s alma mater that highlights the strong bonds of friendship.

Male manatee, Heavy Falcon, was found as an orphan in Crystal River, Fla. He received his name in honor of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch that took place on February 6, 2018, which was also the day he was rescued and taken to SeaWorld Orlando to begin his rehabilitation journey.

With Carmen and Heavy Falcon now in Florida, the Columbus Zoo is currently caring for three manatees: Bananatee and Tostone, who were also both found as orphans in Florida, and long-term resident, Stubby. Due to the extensive injuries she received from a boat strike, Stubby is a conditionally non-releasable animal. Her condition is evaluated every five years to determine if she is ready or not to return to Florida, but it is unlikely that she will move out of this category. Instead, she has often assumed the role of a surrogate mother looking after the other manatees and is the first to greet newcomers during their introduction to the Zoo’s Manatee Coast habitat.

“It’s always difficult to say goodbye to the manatees when their rehabilitation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has come to an end, but it’s also a time for celebration as their return to Florida is a remarkable achievement. We are extremely proud to participate in the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership and help make a positive difference not only for these individual manatees but also their species’ future,” said Becky Ellsworth, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Shores region curator.

As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a second stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release back to the wild.

The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees. Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.manateerescue.org. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was the first program partner outside of the state of Florida and is one of only two facilities outside of Florida to care for manatees.

The threatened Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and mortality, including entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear, crushing by flood gates or locks, and exposure to cold stress, disease, boat strikes, and red tide—a toxic algae bloom.

Though red tide events have occurred historically in Florida for centuries, in more recent years these events have grown significantly in scale and duration, suspected by researchers to be exacerbated by human activities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found that in 2018, red tide affected approximately 145 miles of Florida’s coastline, negatively impacting the state’s tourism industry and resulting in widespread fatalities of manatees, dolphins, fish, sea turtles and other marine species. The MRP continues to monitor the red tide event closely while remaining in frequent communication with State of Florida biologists and officials. As part of this collaboration, each manatee release is coordinated carefully to help the manatees avoid areas impacted by red tide. Additionally, the MRP employees a full-time biologist who travels throughout the state to check on the tracked manatees previously released as part of the MRP program to ensure they are not in need of assistance.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also supports field conservation projects for three of four living species of manatees through its Conservation Fund. Providing grants to researchers on three continents (North America, South America and Africa), the Zoo contributes to rescue and rehabilitation in Florida, environmental education focused on the Amazonian manatee in Colombia, and critical population surveys for the least known species: the West African manatee.

For the latest news about the manatees, follow the Columbus Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information about the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, please visit ColumbusZoo.org.

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Life in Delaware County

Halloween for Everyone at Columbus Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo

13 Oct , 2019  

Enjoy all of the Halloween fun without the fright during the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s annual Boo at the Zoo celebration, presented by bubly™. Due to the popularity of this event in years past, the Zoo has added a third Boo at the Zoo weekend! This “merry-not-scary” event will take place during the weekends of October 11-13, 18-20 and 25–27. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Classic Cars Arrive At The Zoo

22 Sep , 2019  

It’s an opportunity to see classic rides in a unique setting.

On Sunday, October 6, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is hosting the annual Colo’s Classic Car Show, presented by Nationwide.

This annual event features classic, low riding, and muscle cars. Come as a spectator or register your own classic vehicle. More…

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History/Tourism, Life in Delaware County

Delaware County’s Newest Residents Are Ready To Roar

27 Aug , 2019  

Three African lion cubs were born earlier this month at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Mother Naomi is doing well and is being very attentive to the cubs, who appear to be healthy. All are being monitored behind the scenes by the Zoo’s veterinary and Heart of Africa animal care teams. More…

Life in Delaware County

Deck The Halls During Christmas in July

20 Jul , 2019  

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in July at Zoombezi Bay!

During this weeklong celebration, presented by Wendy’s, Central Ohio’s wildest waterpark will be decking the halls (even with special “snow flurries”) and pouring on the holiday cheer July 22 through July 28. More…

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