Happy Zoo Year 2012!   1 comment

Christmas Tree in the Duck PondAnnually, the Cincinnati Zoo holds the Festival of Lights, where they put lights on throughout the zoo and open in the evening. The signs at the zoo say it’s “Cincinnati’s Oldest Holiday Tradition.” I’m not sure how accurate that is, especially considering the trains that used to be at the CG&E building (now at the Museum Center). However, I certainly enjoy it.

It’s a very impressive display. They are proud that the 20,000 lights are Earth-friendly LEDs. It makes the zoo feel different. Most of the vendors are selling hot cocoa, and there are puppet displays. Last night, there was a person dressed as a panda, decked out as baby new year.

It’s a great display. What’s more, on New Year’s Eve, they hold “Happy Zoo Year.” They have special puppet shows for kids, and a count-down at the parent-friendly time of 9 PM, followed by fireworks. This is the third year we’ve done this. This year, we’ve been lucky in Cincinnati with relatively nice weather–I almost was not sure if I was in Southwest Ohio or Southwest Louisiana. Fortunately, Cincinnati’s hills reminded me quite well.

To get to the zoo, you have to walk across a bridge from the parking lot. This was a nice tunnel of lights. My wife and daughter pose amid the flashing white LEDs.
Tunnel of Lights

My favorite light display, probably influenced by my mother, was the flamingos.
Flamingo Lights

In their central duck pond, they set up a syncrhonized light display.

Of course, the reason I like to go to the zoo is the animals. OK, cats. The ocelot was taking a nap, not doubt making sure he was ready for when the ball dropped.
Dozing Occelot

One sand cat thought that was a great idea.
Dozing Sand Cat

The other was busy making sure its hair was perfect.
Looking Good for New Year

Slurp!

The cougar brothers are getting so big! They just hit the one year mark a few months ago. A keeper said they still have about fifty more pounds to grow. I’m not sure which one this is, but the other one was right next to the glass–I couldn’t really get a good shot in this light.
Cougar Among the Rocks

The giraffes were staying inside, but were cool. Giraffes have no problem staying up until midnight. At four and a half hours, they require the least sleep of any mammal.
Oh Hai!

My daughter has been on an elephant kick lately, and why not? They’re magnificent creatures.
Elephant Face-On

One was sweeping up hay with his trunk…
Gathering Hay

…and having a snack.
Nom!

Nom!
Nom 2

This is a great event, and we had a lot of fun.
Main Tree

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One response to “Happy Zoo Year 2012!

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  1. THis is so fun! I loved the music and the lights! And I love the animals, too, of course! Great pic of your wife and daughter!

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