Blakely the Australian Shepherd Filling in as Parent to One-Month-Old Tiger Cubs

…Since being with her is not an option, Blakely is the next best thing. His baby-rearing resume includes experience with cheetahs, an ocelot, a takin, a warthog, wallabies, skunks, and bat-eared foxes. Last year, to recognize Blakely’s nurturing nature, the City of Cincinnati proclaimed October 19 to be Blakely Day! “My team can feed and care for the tiger cubs, but we can’t teach them the difference between a play bite and one that means ‘watch…

Nursery Dog Steps in as Surrogate Parent to Cheetah Cubs at the Cincinnati Zoo

…e cubs climb on him, which they did as soon as they were put together. They need the exercise to build muscle tone and get their guts moving,” said Strasser, who supervises daily climbing sessions and other interactions with Blakely. As the cubs grow, Blakely’s role in their development will shift from climbable companion and hairy warm body to teacher and role model. He taught his last student, a baby takin named Dale, to jump up on rocks and…

Nursery Dog Makes Room for New Baby Takin at the Cincinnati Zoo!

…and Blakely provides socialization and teaches certain behaviors through play. He has provided this service for a cheetah, an ocelot, bat-eared foxes, an aardvark, a warthog and brother wallabies (see 2014 TODAY.com story on Blakely’s nanny work). Dale will remain in the nursery with Blakely for the next few weeks and join the other takins in Wildlife Canyon in the fall. Takins are large, muscular, hoofed mammals that reside in mountainous…

Seasonal Animal Experiences

…debut in 2012, “Blakely’s Barnyard Bonanza” at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a fast-paced, fun, family-friendly interaction in our Children’s Zoo for young and old visitors alike. Getting its name from the old Blakely Farm, the present-day site of the world-famous 79-acre Cincinnati Zoo, Blakely’s Barnyard Bonanza will entertain and educate visitors by featuring barnyard animal behaviors demonstrating the importance of physical…

4-Month-Old Takin Reunited with Mom at the Cincinnati Zoo!

…n. After that went well, we put them together for short periods. They are now together all the time and getting along great. Sally nuzzles him and responds when he initiates play,” said Wildlife Canyon Keeper Paul Reinhart. “Blakely started to avoid Dale’s head butts, but his 500-pound mom is receptive to his forceful bids for attention!” Baby takin Dale snuggles with Blakely in the nursery. Dale and his mom can now be seen together in the Zoo’s…

Animal Encounters & Experiences

…unter will resume in Spring 2018. The Zoo partners with the Joanie Bernard Foundation to spread the word about responsible pet ownership and the benefits of spaying/neutering domestic cats. Cheetah Encounter Sponsored by: Ameritas Wings of Wonder Watch birds fly, call, mimic, climb and outsmart their trainers. Flights take off spring 2018. Wings of Wonder Bird Encounter Sponsored by: Blakely’s Barnyard Bonanza The Bonanza will resume in…

Zoo Access for All

…al owners to be observant of their animal’s behavior and the behaviors of Zoo animals, and adjust their viewing accordingly for the wellbeing of all animals: Night Hunters Cat Canyon African Lions Wings of the World Meerkats Blakely’s Barnyard Bonanza The Zoo reserves the right to designate areas as restricted or sensitive without prior notice if a service animal’s presence is demonstrated (through prior or current situations) to cause a Zoo…

Visitor FAQ- The Best Resource For Your Visit!

…al owners to be observant of their animal’s behavior and the behaviors of Zoo animals, and adjust their viewing accordingly for the wellbeing of all animals: Night Hunters Cat Canyon African Lions Wings of the World Meerkats Blakely’s Barnyard Bonanza The Zoo reserves the right to designate areas as restricted or sensitive without prior notice if a service animal’s presence is demonstrated (through prior or current situations) to cause a Zoo…

Baby Takin Arrives Right on Time

…nd. If all continues to go well, we hope to have mom and offspring in their outdoor habitat in a couple of weeks.” The calf’s big brother, Dale, spent his first months being cared for by nursery staff and famous canine nanny Blakely. After he was weaned, he was reintroduced to his mother and eventually to his dad, six-year-old Harry. The three were together as a family until last week when Sally was separated to prepare for the birth. Takins are…

Zoo Today

…he weather: Temperatures must be 50 degrees or above with sunny skies for hippos to be outside. (This is at the discretion of our animal care staff & could change without notice) Click here for weekend animal encounters! Blakely’s Barnyard in Children’s Zoo will be closed for construction until futher notice. Tigers will be off view for the remainder of the winter. Gorilla World indoor viewing area will be closed for a couple of…