Get Ready for an Adventure Down Under When Cincinnati Zoo’s Roo Valley Opens on August 18!

Posted August 14, 2020

Say g’day to awesome Aussie species up close in their new habitats

CINCINNATI, OH (August 14, 2020)  Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be hoppin’ in a few days when Roo Valley, which features the Zoo’s first-ever kangaroo walkabout and the largest outdoor little blue penguin habitat opens.  Bring your mates and rellies!

“It feels like you’ve entered another world when you’re in the walkabout,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard.  “It’s lush and beautiful with kangaroos right next to you!  And right around the corner you get face to face with 30+ penguins splashing around in crystal clear water.”

The water that flows through Roo Valley, and in the penguin pool, is 100% rainwater that’s being collected in 100K-gallon-capacity stormwater tanks and stored under the habitat. Other sustainability features built into the space include a green roof over the penguin habitat and a huge geothermal well system that assists in heating and cooling the pools and cuts the energy usage roughly in half.

“Our habitat designers worked with animal staff to better understand the needs and preferences of both species,” said Maynard.  “As a result, there are enrichment opportunities, such as nooks in the rockwork where keepers can hide favorite foods, built in throughout both animal habitats. These features promote natural behaviors for overall optimal health and wellbeing.”

In addition to the ‘roos and little blues, visitors can enjoy coldies at Hops Beer Garden, which opened in October 2019 and provides a great view of “down under” from “up over”!  Kanga Klimb, an ADA-accessible ropes course that will open in 2021, will be the final addition to Roo Valley.

Roo Valley was funded through the Zoo’s More Home to Roam capital campaign, which launched in the summer of 2018 with a goal to dramatically transform Zoo habitats to give animals more space and to improve visitor experience.

“We’re thrilled that we were able to complete Roo Valley and are resuming efforts to raise funds that will allow us to realize the ultimate goal of More Home to Roam, which is to build an Asian elephant habitat that goes further than ever to recognize and accommodate the biological instincts of these amazing creatures,” said Maynard.

Become a Zoo member today so you can visit the ‘roos and little blues often! Other member perks include Early Entry*, free parking, no reservations required between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and discounts on food and retail. It’s all part of your Summer Adventure at the Cincinnati Zoo, presented by Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Honda Dealers. *NOTE: Reservations are required for all guests.

A huge thank you to The Craig Young Family Foundation, the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Foundation, the Helen G., Henry F. and Louise T. Dornette Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee, G. Richard Thomas & Jane S. Thomas, Paycor, Bob and Jeanne Coughlin, and The Burchenal Family for making Roo Valley possible.