Animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is consistently rated as one of the best zoos in the U.S. and is a point of pride for Central Ohio.

Much of the zoo’s success is due to the work of former Director, and current Director Emeritus, “Jungle” Jack Hanna.

Seagulls flying over the Scioto River at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

Seagulls flying over the Scioto River at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

The zoo is home to over 700 different species of animals and houses over 9,000 animals in total!

Ready to meet some of them?

 

The Columbus Zoo sits on land adjacent to the Scioto River.  So, while not official zoo residents, seagulls like those in the photo to the right, are everywhere.

That photo was actually taken several years ago, prior to a lot of the zoo’s recent renovations.  So, I’m pretty sure the bird poop stained lamp globes have been replaced by high efficiency lights. 🙂

 

The Columbus Zoo is divided into five regions, mostly based on geographic location. One of those regions is called Asia Quest and that is where you’ll meet the zoo’s elephants.

One of the elephants out for a walk at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

One of the elephants out for a walk at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

The zoo’s most recent additions to the elephant herd are a 26 year old Asian elephant named Hank, who arrived at the end of 2011, and the youngest member of the elephant group, Beco, the infant elephant who was born at the zoo in March 2009.

Wildlife Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Another of Asia Quest’s residents are the rhinoceroses… “rhinoceri”?… the Rhinos!

A Black Rhinoceros in its enclosure at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

A Black Rhinoceros at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

Rhinos and elephants are two of my favorite animals to photograph at the zoo because, #1, they are pretty big and are easy targets to follow with the lens.

I also like elephants and rhinos as subjects because of their eyes.

Their eyes are very deep and full of expression so close up shots have the potential to bring out a lot of emotion and commentary from people looking at them.

The Columbus Zoo is actually a partner of The Wilds, the largest wildlife conservation center for endangered species in North America.

Also located in Ohio, The Wilds sits on over 9,100 acres in Muskingum County and has two different species of rhinoceros in its care, the Southern White Rhino and the Greater One-Horned Asian Rhino.

 

One thing the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is internationally known for is its gorilla surrogacy program.

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The zoo currently has 17 gorillas, including the newest of the bunch, a baby male named Kamoli, born earlier this year.

The most well known of the Columbus Zoo gorillas is definitely Colo.

Colo was the world’s first gorilla born in captivity (also at the Columbus Zoo) and is believed to be the world’s oldest living gorilla, having just celebrated her 56th birthday on December 22, 2012.

A interested looking gorilla checking out the camera at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

A gorilla checking out the camera at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

In total, 31 gorillas have been born at the zoo.


GORILLAS IN OUR MIDST: THE STORY OF THE COLUMBUS ZOO GORILLAS

 

As its name infers, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a lot of aquatic animals too.

The area of the zoo called The Shores has two well known habitats, Manatee Coast and Discovery Reef.

Manatee Coast showcases the endangered West Indian Manatee and is one of only two locations outside of Florida to keep Manatees.

Discovery Reef is an 88,000 gallon saltwater aquarium that is home to numerous species of  fish, sharks, stingrays and sea turtles.

The Shores also has outdoor exhibits showcasing flamingos, alligators and penguins.

Jellyfish at The Shores exhibit. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

Jellyfish at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

A Blue-and-Yellow Macaw at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

A Blue-and-Yellow Macaw at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Pentax *ist DS.

 

I hope you enjoyed my photos and the little “tour” of some of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

As with my previous Photos of the Week posts, I still have a lot more photos from the zoo that I want to share so I’ll select a few more and post them as Photos of the Day throughout the coming week.

Thanks so much for reading.

Please share this post if you liked it and, the next time you visit Columbus, Ohio, be sure to take a trip to the Columbus Zoo and post links to any photos you took in the comments!

 

Court.

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