Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio (with Map & Photos)

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is Ohio's main attraction and the leading zoo in the United States. Located a short drive from the city of Powell.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

In 2009, a US travel guide named it the first of its kind in America. According to polls from various publications, he has repeatedly been among the leaders.

Visitors are overwhelmed by the variety of exhibits. The collection includes 7 thousand individuals belonging to 800 species.

The territory of 580 acres (234 hectares) is divided into eight natural zones with different habitats - Africa, Asia, Congo. It includes Zoombezi Bay and water park attractions.

It is impossible to bypass all zones on foot in a day.

A sightseeing train runs across North America. It is connected with the "Polar Region" by a tram. Around the islands of "Southeast Asia" you can sail by boat.

Columbus Zoo History


In January 1927, the Wolf family, which owned the local newspaper Columbus Dispatch, donated a small collection of animals for public viewing. The history of the park began with her.

The first special achievement was the birth of a lowland gorilla calf in December 1956. In captivity, this happened for the first time in the world. The administration held a competition and won the name Colo, which combined the iconic words “Columbus” and “Ohio”.

Kolo became the ancestor of a large family of gorillas - 31 great-grandsons and great-great-grandsons were born. She died in her sleep on January 17, 2017, becoming the oldest gorilla in the world with a longevity record of 60 years.

Columbus Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

September 1978 a milestone in the life of the Columbus Zoo - new director Jack Hannah joined.

He started a large-scale renovation and reconstruction. Under his leadership, the pavilions were repaired. For many species of animals, a natural open-air habitat was created without trellises and enclosures.

Since 1983, Jack Hannah began to appear regularly on television screens, starting with the show "Good Morning America". With humor, passion, he talked about the inhabitants of the Columbus Zoo and demonstrated some, bringing with him to the studio. The problems of the Columbus Zoo attracted millions of Americans.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Jack Hannah has received national recognition. He is still the zoo's recognizable public face and director emeritus. His initiatives raised the average annual attendance from 360 thousand to 1.4 million in 1992. Today, 2.3 million people come to see the exposition a year.

In 2004, they began a new renovation with a budget of 180 million, calculated for ten years.

The renovation and construction of the 22.7-acre water park and aquarium was completed in 2008. The opening was broadcast live "Good Morning America".

The water park is one of the largest in the country. The only one, combined with a zoo and bringing income to its treasury. It attracts 400 thousand visitors annually.

Endangered Species Conservation Programs


Programs funded by Columbus Zoo are restoring rare species outside of the park. In 2010 alone, the administration allocated $ 2 million to support endangered animals in other regions of the world. Today, 70 projects in 30 countries are receiving assistance from Columbus Zoo.

Jack Hannah began a conservation activity - he was proud of the restoration of the number of pandas (1992) living in the zoo. 

In 2008, they launched a program to preserve American manatees - a rehabilitation center was built for them.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Living in shallow waters, sea cows suffer from motor boat propellers or die slowly by swallowing line from fishing tackle. Sick, injured animals are treated and released on the coast of Florida.

In 1992, a program was launched to preserve the nearly extinct Mexican wolf. There are only a hundred individuals on the planet. 29 puppies have already been born in the zoo's enclosures.

The local population of Bonobos pygmy chimpanzees is growing - in their homeland in Congo, they have almost disappeared.

Columbus Zoo Exhibitions


Polar Region - an exposition opened quite recently, in 2010. The volume of the pool for polar bears exceeds 600 thousand liters. There is an underwater viewing area for watching bears.

Columbus Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

During an expedition to the Congo, visitors get to know the inhabitants of the tropical forests of Central Africa. Landmark of the region is the lowland gorilla. 

Pygmy chimpanzees, mandrills, okapi are no less interesting.

The Asia Quest takes place among picturesque landscapes. Visitors will stroll past the waterfall, through a cave and an Asian garden stylized as an abandoned one. They will walk through a Chinese forest and visit a pheasant farm. Amur tigers, red pandas, and crested deer live among the Asian landscapes.

The Australia and Islands region is striking with covered pavilions for observing night and twilight animals.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

It is also famous for the House of Birds, where exotic birds from Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and Australia live.

Heart of Africa - 170 sq. m of savannah plain animals live: giraffes, warthogs, lions, zebras, gazelles.

North America is the second largest and oldest zoo area. Most of the animals live in open areas bounded by natural barriers. The large aviary contains 40 species of songbirds, usually migrating across the borders of North America.

The indoor pavilion for elephants and rhinos was the second largest in the world at the time of opening. Allows you to keep a dozen elephants and 3-4 rhinos at the same time. In fine weather, the animals roam free.

Zoombezi Bay: Aquarium & Coast


The huge area accommodates the Aqua Park and several large aquariums. Among them is Discovery Rif with a huge collection of corals (some are just artificial decorations), a rich species composition of fish, rays, sharks.

The Reptile House is home to water and land turtles, pythons, skinks, rattlesnakes. The large pavilion houses a pool for sea cows (manatees). In good weather, the roof above it is opened.

Columbus Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The exposition includes coastal residents - American alligators, flamingos, Humboldt penguins.

Commercial and educational activities

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a non-profit organization and is not supported by the government. The administration diligently involves the public in its problems and conducts active educational work.

Each visitor is invited to become a participant in a large-scale project for the conservation of endangered species.

Membership is paid, fees go to animal welfare and environmental protection measures. But at the same time, a membership card gives a lot of bonuses when visiting.

Funds are raised by auctions - you do not need to be present to participate in the draw for the 1968 Camaro Convertible.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The number of events, exciting events taking place in the park is impressive. There are several educational programs in operation.

Schoolchildren usefully spend time at the summer camp. The training program is designed for at least a week.

There are regular videos showing the events of the zoo. Moreover, the video sequence is accompanied by a small popular lecture from employees. And it contains information no less interesting than the video itself.

The Endangered Animal Conservation Fund, created by the Columbus Zoo a quarter of a century ago, has already saved about a hundred species of the planet from extinction.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Map