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Cincinnati Zoo named best zoo in USA Today contest

Four of the 10 breakfast events will feature Fiona and her friends.
Four of the 10 breakfast events will feature Fiona and her friends.(Cincinnati Zoo - Michelle Curley)
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 12:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 12:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The voters have spoken, and the Cincinnati Zoo has been named the nation’s best zoo in USA Today’s 10Best contest.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized for being a great Zoo AND a great Botanical Garden,” said Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden director Thane Maynard. “Some people who come here to see Fiona or Rico are surprised to discover that they are surrounded by a world-class botanical garden!  We thank everyone who voted for us in both categories.”

Twenty zoos from around the United States were selected by a panel for the contest.

The panel looked for zoos that “excel in the fields of animal care and enrichment, while also facilitating meaningful interactions between animals and human visitors.”

Here were the 20 nominated zoos:

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson)
  • Audubon Zoo (New Orleans)
  • Brevard Zoo (Melbourne, Fla.)
  • Bronx Zoo (New York)
  • Brookfield Zoo (Chicago)
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (Colorado Springs)
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Dallas Zoo (Dallas)
  • Denver Zoo (Denver)
  • Fort Worth Zoo (Fort Worth)
  • Houston Zoo (Houston)
  • Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Palm Desert, Calif.)
  • Nashville Zoo (Nashville)
  • Oakland Zoo (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (Omaha, Neb.)
  • Oregon Zoo (Portland, Oregon)
  • Saint Louis Zoo (Saint Louis)
  • San Diego Zoo (San Diego)
  • Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Washington, D.C.)

Botanical Garden earned second place in the 10Best Botanical Garden category.

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