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Travel articles in and about Cincinnati
Oct 11, 2013 - The Best of Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
With hectic urban lives, one should take time to appreciate nature and the diversity of wildlife found on this land. Having said that, as part of the Cincinnati charter bus visiting group, you should take time to visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden as it is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It first opened in 1875 with the Reptile House as the oldest zoo building in the United States.
Originally named as the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens, this zoo original animal collection consisted of eight monkeys, two Grizzly bears, three White-tailed deer, six raccoons, two elk, a buffalo, a Spotted hyena, a tiger, an American alligator, a circus elephant, and more than four hundred birds including a crow. Later on in 1878, the first sea lion was born in captivity and the zoo also acquired its first pair of giraffes.
Currently, many animals in the zoo hold records and one of them is the longest living alligator kept in captivity, which was until 70 years of age. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden was also the first zoo in the United States to exhibit an aye-aye, a Madagascar lemur. In addition, this zoo housed and bred bonobos, also known as pygmy chimpanzees, and is one of the only dozen in North America to accomplish this.
For those who might not know, the Cincinnati Zoo calls itself the greenest zoo in America. Recently, the zoo boasts of also having the greenest restaurant in the country with the establishment of Base Camp Café. This restaurant have been certified by the Green Restaurant Association with a whopping four stars, which is the highest rating from the association. Only 15 restaurants in the nation have managed to reached distinction and even so, none have acquired as many points as Base Camp Café had.
Just like the rest of the zoo, Base Camp Café gets a quarter of its power supply from a solar electricity array. The food served at the café is also made out of materials that can be composted together with food waste. In addition, there is a full recycling program in both the dining room and the kitchen. Even the food served are made of ingredients locally acquired through farming and rearing.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden also holds a popular annual event called the PNC Festival of Lights. The zoo celebrates the holiday season with more than 2.5 million Christmas lights and over 100 light displays. On top of that, there are many interesting activities held in conjunction with this festival such as ice sculpture shows, meeting Santa and even a train ride around the zoo. You would want to take a Cincinnati charter bus to avoid traffic jam and lack of parking space during this event that should not be missed.