History The Zoological Society of Cincinnati was founded in 1873 and officially opened its doors in 1875, making the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden the second oldest Zoo in the United States. The Zoo’s original animal collection was very small, originally consisting of just eight monkeys, two grizzly bears, three deer, six raccoons, two elk, a buffalo, a hyena, a tiger, an alligator, a circus elephant, and over four hundred birds, including a talking crow. The Zoo was founded on 65 acres in the middle of the city, and since then has acquired some of the surrounding blocks and several reserves in Cincinnati’s suburbs. Learn MoreThe Zoo was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987 due to its significant architecture featured in the Elephant House, the Reptile House, and the Passenger Pigeon Memorial. The Zoo’s Reptile House is the oldest existing Zoo building in the country, dating from 1875. Part of the public school system in Cincinnati since 1975, the Zoo hosts a four-year college prepatory program – Zoo Academy. The Cincinnati Zoo is proud to serve as the leading non-formal science educator in Southwest Ohio. Over 300,000 students participate in the Zoo’s educational programs annually. Breeding in Zoos The Zoo has long been successful at breeding, starting with trumpeter swans and sea lions back in the 1880s. The Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) was founded in 1986 to strengthen the tradition. The research conducted here has made the Cincinnati Zoo an international leader in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants around the world. Rated by peer zoological parks as one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces. More than 1.5 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo features more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, making it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country. Interactive Timeline Mission Adventure. Conservation. Education. Community. The mission and vision of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is dedicated to creating adventure, conveying knowledge, conserving nature, and serving the community. With the addition of our fourth pillar to our Mission Statement, Serving Community, we recognize the responsibility to partner with diverse and economically challenged communities in our daily work. Vision Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Core Values What We Believe / How We Act Achieving our mission requires great people who actively demonstrate the following values & behaviors: Collaborative Relationships Promotes pro-active, open communication across all levels/departments Actively listens to and values others’ questions, concerns, and ideas Meets face-to-face and fosters open discussions Our Mission: Creating Adventure, Conveying Knowledge, Conserving Nature, Serving Community Strategic Objective: Inspire Every Visitor With Wildlife Everyday! Positivity & Energy Displays a positive attitude under all circumstances Is passionate and energetic Makes time to celebrate success Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect Ensures expectations are well understood and holds self and others accountable Holds self to high standards and always tries to do the right thing Treats others with respect Practices DWYSYWD (Do what you say you will do) Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them Takes ownership of problems/projects and shepherds the process to resolution Progressive Thinking Challenges the status quo in respectful and productive ways Is a self-directed learner and strives to continuously further own knowledge Demonstrates relentless pursuit for improvement Thinks creatively; is willing to look for new and innovative ways to do things Learns from others, both internally and externally Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership Demonstrates respect and care for the living collection Goes the extra mile to ensure the visitor has a great experience every visit Is always an advocate for the Zoo with all audiences Shows strong personal ownership of the Zoo and careful stewardship of its resources. If you share these core values, perhaps you belong in a Zoo! See Job Opportunities.