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Cincinnati Zoo named best zoo in the U.S. by USA Today Readers' Choice 2022

Cincinnati Zoo Fiona Exhibit.jpg
Posted at 2:50 PM, Jun 03, 2022

CINCINNATI — Featuring exhibits that bring you up close and face-to-face with animals from all across the globe — including the world-famous Fiona the hippo — the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was just named the best zoo in the U.S.

The Queen City's zoo earned the No. 1 spot in the Best Zoo category of USA Today's 2022 10Best Readers' Choice poll.

Per the poll, North America is home to "hundreds of zoological parks, including more than 200 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)."

The zoo's botanical garden took home the second place spot in the Best Botanical Garden category. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, was named first place in that category.

After USA Today travel experts select 20 top nominees, the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards are picked based on reader votes. The overall awards cover everything from food and lodging to travel gear and things to do.

"It's wonderful to be recognized for being a great zoo and a great botanical garden," said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden director." The zoo is a special place to Cincinnatians and visitors alike, and we want to thank everyone who voted for us in both categories."

The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the U.S. — the Zoological Society of Cincinnati began in 1873 and the zoo officially opened its doors in 1875. Recently, the zoo has been further illustrating exactly why it's the best zoo in the country by announcing the addition of new animals and exhibits for visitors to see and fall in love with.

Last week, the zoo announced its cheetah cub ambassador Rozi, who has been stealing hearts across social media.

Rozi, and singleton cheetah club from Oregon, was sent to the Cincinnati zoo to be raised because she couldn't be cared for by her mother. She is currently undergoing 24-hour care and will eventually participate in the zoo's Cheetah Encounter. Rozi will also be paired with a puppy for companionship to provide play and socialization.

Otherwise, the zoo recently announced three new exhibits. The area formerly known as Bear Hill will be changed into Bear Ridge, Seat Otter Coast and a third habitat dedicated to North American backyard wildlife. These exhibits will be opening to the public in summer 2023.

And lastly, Fiona the hippo — practically the face of the zoo — is going to be big sister! Cincinnati's favorite hippo is will be a sibling when her mom, Bibi, gives birth later this year. Though Fiona was born six weeks premature and wouldn't have survived without intervention from her human caregivers, the zoo is hopeful Bibi will bring this hippo to full-term.

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