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Photo by: Anna Breier


The Official Magazine of the Toledo Zoo


Volume 28 |

Issue 4


Winter 2019

Photo by: Anna Breier Cover photo: Polar bear

WELCOME LETTER Family…where life begins and love never ends. From our animals and staff and to our supporters and visitors, the Toledo Zoo is full of families. In addition to caring for animals and conserving the natural world, we strive to provide an educational and enriching experience for every family member. Read on to learn more about animal family groups, species family planning, creating and celebrating family memories at the Zoo and much more. This holiday season, and every day of the year, we invite you and your family to visit the Zoo to learn

about and appreciate all of our families and make lasting memories with your own. Thank you for your family’s continued support of the Toledo Zoo. Sincerely,

Bactrian camel

JEFF SAILER President & CEO, Toledo Zoo & Aquarium Masai giraffe

Safari is an exclusive benefit to Toledo Zoo members. Membership also includes free, unlimited, year-round admission and parking during regular Zoo hours; a subscription to the Zoo’s e-newsletter; early access to Summer Concert Series tickets; discounts on Zoo merchandise, classes, programs and more; and discounted admission to 150+ zoos and aquariums nationwide.


2 Hippo Way • P.O. Box 140130 Toledo, Ohio 43614-0130 419-385-5721 • fax 419-389-8670


Become a permanent part of the Zoo’s history by purchasing a subway tile in the newly renovated TUNNEL! TOLEDOZOO.ORG/DONATE

Contact the editor at 419-385-5721, ext. 2145 or


ANIMAL FAMILY GROUPS Families come in all shapes, size and species! As we know from human experiences, family can be groups bonded by blood or choice too. Here are a few fast facts about family groups found at your Zoo! In scientific terms, a family is the fifth of seven taxonomic levels. It can be divided into sub-families: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species An example would be: Orangutan: Animalia (animal), Chordata (vertebrate), Mammalia (mammal), Primate, Hominidae, Pongo, Pongo Pygmaeus

An accredited member of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums | W A Z A United for Conservation


EDITORS: JEFF SAILER & SHAYLA MORIARTY WRITER: KIM HADDIX DESIGNER: ANN KINSMAN PHOTOGRAPHER: COREY WYCKOFF PRINTER: HOMEWOOD PRESS Safari is published quarterly by the Toledo Zoo, P.O. Box 140130, Toledo, OH 43614-0130. Second-class postage paid at Toledo, Ohio and at additional mailing offices.

A few families represented at the Zoo include Felidaecats, Canidae- dogs, Ursidae- bears.

Many animals at the Zoo live and are on exhibit in family groups. Groups (family or just gatherings) of species have some fun and often apropos names including: A sleuth of bears A caravan of camels A quiver of cobras A bask of crocodiles A convocation of eagles A parade of elephants A stand of flamingos An army of frogs A tower of giraffes

A band of gorillas A conspiracy of lemurs A family of otters A parliament of owls A pandemonium of parrots A crash of rhinoceroses A shiver of sharks A knot of toads A zeal of zebras



Printed on recycled paper. ©2019 by Toledo Zoo.


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019


THE ZOO IS A FAMILY AFFAIR If you have not figured it out by now, everything at the Zoo is a family affair… even volunteering. Here are the stories of three families and their adventures volunteering at the number one zoo in the nation!


The Zoo is very important to the Black family, consisting of mother, Elana, father, Glen and daughters, Megan, Rachel, Rebecca and Brianna, because they love animals and appreciate the efforts to conserve and protect them for future generations to visit. “We feel that we are helping the Zoo by educating the visitors about the new red panda breeding center, sturgeon release program, terracycling and outreach programs such as cleaning the river or helping people in neighboring communities. All our children love animals and we have several pets at home. When our children were young, we would visit the Toledo Zoo frequently. One day, Megan’s Girl Scout troop did a Zoo Snooze and she liked the ZOOTeens that ran the program so much she started asking how she could become one. She was only nine years old at the time and

could not wait until she turned 13 years old so she could be a ZOOTeen! When Megan became a ZOOTeen, the rest of the family would walk around the Zoo while she volunteered. We learned so much about the animals and the Zoo that we started helping other visitors with their questions. A volunteer referred us to Bill Davis and Liz Emerson to learn more about being a Zoo Educator. Glen also was interested in doing the dive shows in the aquarium, and Megan’s sisters could not wait until they were 13 years old so they could become ZOOTeens too.”

was carrying. Then when the baby was born, we would visit baby Louie. Years later, when Megan became a ZOOTeen, she made enrichment for Louie’s birthday Our family grew up with Louie and this is the type of experience we want to create for the people who visit the Zoo today. Being involved at the Toledo Zoo is a rewarding feeling knowing that you are making a difference in a visitor’s trip.”


Now Glen is a master diver and loves diving in the aquarium and interacting with the kids through the glass. Megan was the head of enrichment and loved going behind-the-scenes to watch the animals rip into the treats she made for them, especially birthday enrichment for Lucas, the elephant. Rachel, Rebecca and Brianna enjoy getting out different bio-facts and educating people about them, as well as helping with Snoozes. Elana likes talking with the visitors and sharing stories about the animals in hopes that it inspires them to want to conserve and protect the animals. “As ZOOTeens, Megan, Rachel, Rebecca and Brianna have strengthened their communication and leadership skills through working with the visitors and as a family we look forward to helping visitors with their questions and sharing stories about the animals. We want to make their visit to the Zoo memorable like the volunteers did for us. We still talk about the Zoo Educator who showed us the ultrasound picture of the baby elephant Renee

family to us. On our wedding day, Bill Davis, volunteer manager, decided our new name should be LAREN and it has stuck. When we sign in at the ZooEd office, we sign Laren instead of Larry and Karen. We have found that our relationship is strengthened by having common interests and a commitment to animal welfare, conservation and education. Some of our favorite memories of volunteering at the Zoo include preparing and teaching programs to children in the museum theater and in classrooms both at the Zoo and in local schools. We were also privileged to assist the veterinarian with the necropsy after the death of our silverback gorilla, Akbar. We enjoy working at Little Boo at the Zoo – the kids are so cute – and transporting senior citizens on golf carts during Senior Safari! We continue to enjoy house guiding, or assisting visitors in finding exhibits they want to see, and also teaching at exhibits across Zoo grounds. We highly recommend volunteering as a family at the Zoo. There are many opportunities to volunteer together, or in individual areas of interest.”


Karen and Larry Meyers actually met volunteering at the Zoo and have been married for 10 years! Larry retired from Campbell’s Soup Company after 35 years and needed something to occupy his time and Karen moved back to Toledo from Houston and wanted to be of service after surviving breast cancer. “As a couple we have formed lasting, loving friendships with other ZooEds and in some cases, their spouses. They have become like the best of

For mother, Jenn, and daughters, Emily and Madison, – both ZOOTeen alumni – the Zoo is not only a part of their current family, but also their history. “My grandfather was a part of the Works Progress Program that gave so much to the Zoo, I knew I wanted to give back. When my oldest daughter was 13, I encouraged her to apply to be a ZOOTeen. After the amazing experience she had, my youngest could not wait to be 13 and apply also.” It was not just the girls who got involved though. “When I started, I thought I would just be a mode of transportation to taking Teens to projects, but I quickly found out volunteering with them would have a profound impact on my life also. For example, the Being Project started as the brainchild of a recent graduate of the ZOOTeen program. The idea was the Teens would go to a downtown

my arms and gave me the biggest hug ever. All the ZOOTeens are her friends and she has so much fun playing with us and her laugh is just infectious.”

parking lot where low-income families get much-needed assistance from area organizations on Saturday mornings. At first, the ZOOTeens were just going to go down to visit, but we noticed a lot of kids with nothing to do but wait for food to be served. So, I went to the store and bought outdoor toys and games to play with. Now, when the Teens show up, the kids see their iconic yellow shirts and come running to play. It is an amazing feeling to see the joy on their faces to just play with simple outdoor games like hop-scotch, (which amazed me not one kid realized there were rules to) Frisbee, tossing the football or just blowing bubbles. Not only do we have kids playing, but adults join in the fun too. A lot of the adults who come have very difficult lives but many of them have joined us with jumping rope to playing four square. Now, I too, am going down to spend time with my friends. The Being Project fuels my happiness and it is an honor to be a part of it. One of my favorite Being Project memories is there is a little girl who was about 3 when we started. She was very quiet and would show very little emotion, very straight-faced. The ZOOTeens made it their goal to get her to open up. On one of our visits, she spotted us from across the parking lot and took off on a run straight into

“Our family has had so many memories at the Zoo, from my daughter’s 6th birthday party, family reunions, Music under the Stars, concerts, after-hours events to the Zoo Teen program. It just fits every part of our life. Both my daughters agree that being a ZOOTeen was the best part of growing up and made a profound impact on their lives. Being part of the Zoo has completely changed our lives for the better and for that I will always be grateful. One of the great things about volunteering at the Zoo is the variety. Both of my girls had a completely different experiences due to the large variety of activities they could sign up to work. As an adult, volunteering opportunities have an even bigger variety to choose from. We get to volunteer together but each one gets to have their own personal experience. The best thing is the car ride home and listening to everyone’s experiences of their day at the Toledo Zoo and knowing we made a bigger impact. It’s an amazing, overwhelming feeling of joy that brings tears to my eyes!” Photos provided by the Black family, Karen and Larry Meyers and the Waldvogel family. TOLEDOZOO.ORG/VOLUNTEER

Left: Rachel, Glen and Megan Black with enrichment for Lucas‘s birthday


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019




One fish family that lives at the Toledo Zoo has roots in Africa, but have thrived to create numerous generations under the careful care of Aquarium Curator and Lake Victoria Species Survival Plan (SSP) Studbook Keeper, Jay Hemdal and his staff. Read on to learn more about these fascinating fish.

Borealis (Bo)

POLAR PAWS AND SANTA CLAWS with Grace Burkett, development manager In the past few years, Your Zoo has provided more opportunities to get your family on their feet and moving. Think Namaste for Nature, Dart Frog Dash and Zoomba. Now, we can add to that list the Medical Mutual Polar Paws and Santa Claws, our new holiday season 5k.

DATE / Sunday, December 15 TIME / 5k begins at 4 p.m. ROUTE / Throughout Zoo and surrounding neighborhoods. (See webpage for map)

CUB RUN / Kids race at 3 p.m. for ages 0-12, broken down into three age groups. Route is within Zoo.


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019


· $35 per 5k registrant through Nov. 17. · $45 from Nov. 18 – Dec. 15. · Kids Cub Run $15 through Dec. 15. · Prices include race and admission to Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank.


· Participants are encouraged to wear Christmas themed and light-up outfits! · Each 5k participant will receive technology friendly gloves and Toledo Zoo insulated cup. First 600 will also receive a commemorative finisher medal. · Both races will finish in the Zoo’s Main Plaza and participants are welcome to stay and enjoy the Lights

display! Spectators will receive the following discounted admission rates to Lights: · Adult spectator/chaperone fee: $10 (ages 12 and up) · Child spectator fee $7 (ages 2-11) · Spectators must enter the Zoo by 4 p.m. or full Lights admission applies. · Chip timing and race organization provided by Dave’s Running. · Post-race refreshments · Awards for top male/female & top 3 age groups Sign up your whole family today! TOLEDOZOO.ORG/POLARPAWS

Victoria Cichlids are a unique and endangered ‘species flock’ or group of closely related fish, which are native to Lake Victoria in east central Africa. These fish are brightly colored, reside in fresh water and can grow up to about 6 inches in length. Some are solid colored, others are striped and some are even mottled with several colors. The Lake, the second largest in the world based on surface area, is bordered by the countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Research indicates the Lake dried up completely approximately 12,400 years ago, making the populations of resident creatures young on the evolutionary scale. In more recent history though, Victoria cichlid populations have declined due to predation from invasive species, over-harvesting and eutrophication, or an over-abundance of nutrients that suppresses oxygen.

preyed-upon. “Victoria cichlid females carry the fertilized eggs in their mouths to keep them away from predators. Then, after the eggs hatch, she carries the babies in her mouth until they have grown a bit larger and are better able to swim away from predators. The eggs are yellow or white, about the size of a peppercorn and females can hold up to 40 at one time. In some cases, the mother cichlid will allow her babies to swim out to look for food, but at the first sign of a predator, they will scramble back into her mouth. In turn, predators have also evolved ways to get around this protection, including paedophages or baby eaters. This type of predator is usually a larger fish that will swim up to a female holding eggs or babies and

engulf her mouth, sucking the babies out to swallow them,” stated Hemdal. In an effort to help grow the family size of this species flock, Toledo Zoo received its first cichlids from the New England Aquarium in 1990. In the last 20+ years, the species has flourished here and our current population is 730 fish, with a total North American SSP population of extended family of around 900 fish. On your next Zoo visit, check out our fin family of Victoria Cichlids on exhibit in the Aquarium. TOLEDOZOO.ORG/AQUARIUM

Victoria Cichlids

According to Hemdal, most species of fish offer no parental care for their offspring, as fertilized eggs are allowed to drift and develop in the tides and currents. In some habitats, where there may be a lot of predators around, the fish, including Victoria cichlids, have developed strategies to protect their offspring until they are larger and less easily

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019



We have all heard the saying, it takes a village to raise a child. According to great ape keeper, Mike Payne, gorilla groups, also known as bands or troops, subscribe to this tried and true theory. Take for example our current gorilla family of five…


“In the Kingdon of the Apes exhibit, we currently have four adult gorillas and one baby that is almost two years old. Our adults are the silverback male, Kwisha and females, Kitani, Johari, Sufi and baby male, Mokonzi. Just as in the wild, one dominate male lives with and produces offspring with multiple females and the group helps to take care of the baby. In Mokonzi’s case, Kwisha is obviously his dad and mom is Kitani, and the other females act like aunts.” The parallels of gorillas and humans are unavoidable. “Just like humans, our gorillas get really excited about babies and all the females want to hold and play with the baby. In fact, I have seen our female gorillas play “airplane baby” just like many humans where they lay on their back and lift the baby in the air on its tummy with their feet while they holds its hands. And just like human moms, gorilla moms come in all types: some are strict, some are easier, some find their own way. Mokonzi is Kitani’s third baby and like many human moms of multiple children, she is much more relaxed with him. She is not a helicopter parent by any means, she lets him be and explore.” Just like humans, each gorilla has its own personality too. Working with this group every day for more than 16 years,



Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

Payne has a good grasp on the group. “They are all smart in their own ways, just some more so than others.”

is where she picked it up. We had a gorilla years back, Elaine, that sang too, so it is not new, just rare.”

“Despite the public perception, Kwisha is actually quite timid and can be frightened by new men or strong storms. He is a great dad though too. He will occasionally play with Mokonzi, just like he has done with his other children. He is known to use his incredibly large fingers to reach in and tickle the baby on the ribs, much to Mokonzi’s delight.

Mokonzi is the first baby I have worked with here. I always say my job is a nice place to be when there is a baby gorilla! Mo, as we sometimes call him, is just like an active kid. He is incredibly playful, has a short attention span, loves to interact with visitors, especially kids. We often see him running back and forth with little kids along the glass and even slapping the glass seeming to give them high-fives. It fun to see him and the kids excited and thankfully gorilla babies grow somewhat slowly so he will be cute for a long time!”

“Since having Mokonzi, Kitani has moved up the gorilla hierarchy to become alpha female. She is easily identified by her big belly. As the mother, she spends the most time with the baby, teaching him and carrying him on her back. She is very laid back, however, with her alpha female status she can get a little bossy.” “Before Mokonzi was born, the alpha female was Johari, as she has been with Kwisha the longest. Jo, as she is sometimes called, is quite intelligent but nervous. She can be easily startled and a bit bossy as the oldest female.” “Our newest gorilla is Sufi. She is the smallest adult gorilla and still the new kid on the block learning her place in the group. Unfortunately, she lost a baby last year, but we think because of that, she has an extra special relationship with Mokonzi. She is very attached to him, she plays with him a lot and even nursed him a few times. She also exhibits an interesting behavior: she sings or hums. We are guessing her mother probably did this too and that

“As a member of the animal care staff, these animals are part of my work family. My job is something different daily and extremely rewarding to watch these amazing animals grow and explore. I want our visitors to understand that we work very hard to create an environment as close to


their wild habitat as we can where they can thrive. I hope people can appreciate that our gorilla family group is just as it would be in the wild. They have families, raise them and get them ready to be adults. I think this not only makes for an incredible work experience for me, but also for our visitors, as they are a part of the village too!”



GORILLA Family trees

Lives in: Knoxville, TN Mother: Shani (deceased)


Lives in: Dallas, TX Mother: Shani (deceased)


Deceased Mother: Johari


Lives in: Dallas, TX Father: Akbar (deceased)


Lives in: Albuquerque, NM Father: Akbar (deceased)



Lives in: Toledo, OH Mother: Kitani

Lives in: St. Paul, MN Mother: Johari


Lives in: Toledo, OH Father: Kwisha

(Stillborn) Father: Kwisha

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019


SPECIES SURVIVAL PLANS Species Survival Plans® or SSPs are a familiar vocabulary term for zoo supporters, however, the actual details are not as well known. To help better understand the behind the scenes of Zoo family planning and population management, read on as we break down this abbreviation. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is the nonprofit accrediting body for this industry. It began in 1924 and is dedicated to the advancement of conservation, education, science and recreation in zoos and aquariums throughout North America. There are currently 236 accredited zoos and aquariums, including the Toledo Zoo.

Snow leopard

According to, there are over 500 active Species Survival Plans® which cooperatively manage the population of select species within ASA institutions and enhance conservation of the species in the wild. As general curator, Jay Hemdal, puts it, a SSP is a program where accredited facilities work together to maintain healthy populations of a chosen species. Each SSP develops a Studbook, or listing of all living animals in the population, complete with age, sex, identification number and lineage to prevent inbreeding of the species.

Scaly-sided merganser

Each SSP also develops a Breeding & Transfer Plan, or recommendations to move animals throughout accredited facilities for breeding based on the most diverse genetics pairings available.

Toledo Zoo participates in 129 SSPs, including 37 mammals, 66 birds, 2 amphibians, 8 fishes and 1 invertebrate. Our staff also serves as studbook keepers and species coordinators: Regional Studbooks Maintained by Toledo Zoo Staff Marianas fruit dove Studbook keeper, Monica Blackwell Scaly-sided merganser (Candidate SSP) Studbook keeper, Chuck Cerbini Lake Victoria cichlids Studbook keeper, Jay Hemdal Mariana Fruit Dove

SSPs Coordinated by Toledo Zoo Staff Wyoming Toad Species Coordinator, Valerie Hornyak Marianas fruit dove Species Coordinator, Monica Blackwell Cabot’s tragopan Species Coordinator, Chuck Cerbini Scaly-sided merganser (Candidate SSP) Species Coordinator, Chuck Cerbini

In a nutshell, Toledo Zoo is working with fellow AZA institutions to conserve endangered species now and well into the future. SSP AZA

Cabot‘s tragopan


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019




with Matt Cross, Ph.D., conservation biologist

While many experts say you should not take work home with you, sometimes it is just inevitable. Sometimes, you actually bring your family to work with you. This is the case for conservation biologist, Matt Cross, Ph.D. while he is rearing lake sturgeon throughout the summer for release in the fall as part of our newest local conservation effort. “I got involved with the lake sturgeon conservation project last year with our first group of eggs. I actually went to Port Huron to get the eggs and then helped monitor their growth in the streamside facility daily until their release. As the fish were still eggs when they arrived, they required around the clock care. Once they hatched, we were feeding them four times a day (7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) seven days a week and spending 60 to 90 minutes in the facility each time. Keeping those work hours meant I was missing a lot of story and bed times for my then three year old son, Ian and newborn daughter, Alyssa.” “After thinking and talking it over with my wife, Jess, we started making the evening feeding a family event. She knows conservation is very important to me, so we decided to view it as a fun, interactive and unique educational opportunity, as well as a way to spend more time together. My son loved it so much, we actually began using it as an incentive program for him- finish your dinner and you can go feed the fish. I gave him a little glove, put him on a step ladder and he was able to dump brine shrimp and later use a kitchen baster to squirt in diced bloodworms into the tanks for the sturgeon. He was really into it and talked quite a bit about it. And even as a newborn, my


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

daughter enjoyed watching the fish move. They both took part in the public release last fall too. In fact, footage of Ian releasing his fish is actually featured in the Sturgeon video in the new Museum and he loves coming to see himself on the video monitor. It’s very cool that Ian remembers it even now. He actually started asking about it this summer too.” “I hope Ian (and Alyssa, when she’s older and gets to help) always remembers feeding the sturgeon. I know he does not fully understand how spoiled he is to get these unique experiences, but I hope he can appreciate it. My earliest memories are foal watching with my dad and this is the closest thing with my profession that I can share with my children. I hope this is our thing. And hopefully when my kids are older there will be lake sturgeon in the Maumee River again and they can say “I helped raise these with my Dad when I was little.” Photos by Jessica Cross TOLEDOZOO.ORG/CONSERVATION LAKE STURGEON TELEMETRY ON MAUMEE

“FAMILY” By Lillian Harris, Zoo intern

Our Zoo Ed Volunteer of the Year became a volunteer in May, 2016. Once he got started, he built up speed and hasn’t slowed down since. He helps with programs, leads feeding and enrichment demonstrations, covers animal watches, and interacts with guests at exhibits throughout the Zoo. He also helps with special events, supports transportation needs for conferences the Zoo is hosting, all while researching terrible jokes in his spare time, which he uses to clear the volunteer office and get people moving. However, what he does always pales in comparison to how he does things. He’s reliable and dependable. He gets things done. Period. And not only do we recognize that as staff, his peers see it as well. He is a respected voice in the Zoo Ed Program, understanding the tradition of the program, while embracing new ideas and opportunities. One of the missions he had this year was to re-invigorate our Mentor program, providing an experienced support network for new volunteers. He led discussions and developed a working framework, and then put the idea into action. Throughout the year, he has come in on “off” days to meet with new volunteers and get them comfortable with their role on-grounds, helping everyone enjoy success. For these reasons and so many more, it is my pleasure to recognize our Zoo Ed Volunteer of the Year: Barry Lazarus

No matter who you are No matter what you do When you step through those gates You are part of the family too The family that strives to inspire The family that spreads the love Not just for the flora or fauna within But for all of the above We are not just the staff You are not just a guest We’re all part of a greater mission We all have a greater quest This includes conserving the natural world And inspiring others to do the same Through education and conservation Everyone will know our name So now you know And now you see We are all interconnected It’s the same for you and me No matter who you are No matter what you do We all can make a difference And there’s a place in our family for you

Safari Magazine • Winter 2019


Left: Wedding ceremony in the gardens


Many think of the Toledo Zoo as a destination to entertain the entire family. While that is most certainly true, the Zoo is also a great place to celebrate special occasions and make memories to last a lifetime! Hosting more than 40 a year, Toledo Zoo has become a very special wedding venue! We have several unique indoor and outdoor spaces that are perfect for wedding ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners or bridal showers. Whether your wedding is small and intimate or a large event with hundreds of guests, we can accommodate you in style. Your wedding is guaranteed to be wildly unforgettable! We also recently re-designed our Birthday Party offerings. Let the kids truly go wild celebrating at the Zoo. The little party animals will enjoy exclusive access to the Ocean Lab, a personalized sign held during a live dive in the Aquarium, delicious pizza, cake and ice cream, an animal meet and greet, along with all the fun the #1 Zoo in the nation has to offer! According to Group Sales manager, Amanda Caig, the Zoo is fully equipped to help you celebrate any occasion in wild style. “The Zoo adds a unique flair to any event with the addition of our animals. We can help you plan everything from a large family reunion in the summertime or the perfect spring wedding and holiday drop-in or themed birthday party. We are a full service event facility, complete with an award-winning executive chef and catering staff ready to personalize your menu, state of

Right: Great Hall at the Museum


Safari Magazine • Winter 2019

the art technology, decorating assistance, and even a variety of optional add-ons such as train and carousel rides and animal encounters. We can accommodate families and groups of various sizes, in several unique event spaces across Zoo grounds, including The Great Hall in the new ProMedica Museum of Natural History. Everything, including the room, food and table set-up can be tailored to fit your taste, needs and budget.” Whenever you are planning an event, whether it be family, hobby or corporate, turn to Your Toledo Zoo. We can turn any occasion into an event everyone will remember forever. For more information, or to book your event, contact the Zoo’s group sales department: or 419-385-5721 ext. 6001.

PS Don’t let planning the annual family drop-in or office holiday party drive you wild-- let us help! During Lights Before Christmas we offer a variety of group gathering options, including a warm-up station with cookies and cocoa during your Lights visit, to a pizza buffet or even a multi-course sit down dinner. Call now to learn more-dates fill extremely fast! VIEW THE GREAT HALL HOST AN EVENT BIRTHDAY PARTIES CATERING MENU HOLIDAY MENU

Above: Wedding reception at Malawi Event Center

Left: Wedding ceremony at the Aquarium Safari Magazine • Winter 2019


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Toledo, OH Permit No. 707

P.O. Box 140130 • Toledo, OH 43614-0130 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

| | | | |

January through April Memorial Day to Labor Day Monday-Friday • May & September Weekends • May & September October 1 - November 21

Lights Before Christmas Hours: November 22 - December 31 10 a.m. - 2:59 p.m. | Zoo Daytime hours Sun -Thu 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Lights Before Christmas activities Fri & Sat 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Lights Before Christmas activities All Lucas County residents receive free Zoo admission every non-holiday Monday 10 a.m. - noon. (Must show valid proof of residency.) The Zoo remains open for one additional hour after gates close to allow visitors to complete their visit. However, many animals may be off exhibit during the last hour.


NOV. 22 – DEC. 31

Camp for a Day Zoomba


Tree Lighting Ceremony

31 31

Winter Camp Noon Year’s Eve 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Last night of Lights!

DECEMBER 5 15 30

YPAC Holiday Howler Medical Mutual Polar Paws & Santa Claws 5k Winter Camp


JANUARY 2020 Saturdays Cabin Fever Weekends Horticulture Make & Take Workshop 11 Wine Tasting: The Great Hall (Museum) 17

18-20 20 25

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend Free admission for Lucas County residents Camp for a Day Horticulture Make & Take Workshop

For more information about these and other events, visit

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