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History of
Cincinnati, OH

Union Terminal


Covington &


Cincinnati Zoo

The Lowland
Gorilla Exhibit

Jungle Trails

Lords of the Arctic

Big Cats

Contact Me
Contact Me

History of Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is referred to as the "Queen City", which derives from a reference by the American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who dubbed it 'Queen of the West' in his poem 'Catawba Wine'.

Cincinnati also has the rather dubious moniker of 'Porkopolis' which it earned prior to the Civil War when it was the United States' chief pork packing center. Yes, pigs did roam the streets, but there are no verified accounts of them flying.

Cincinnati Skyline
Cincinnati Skyline
Riverfront Stadium
Riverfront 2
Riverfront Stadium
Skyline Sunrise
Cincinnati Skyline at Sunrise

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Union Terminal

UT To the Trains Sign
Sign for Trains in Union Terminal
UT Statue
Statue of a waiting GI
UT Train Display
Train Model Display
UT Printing Press
Historic Printing Press
UT Statue 2
Wartime Cincinnati Display

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Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is a French-Gothic replica of the Notre Dame in Paris. It features 80 stained glass windows including the world’s largest stained glass church window. It has murals by Covington artist Frank Duveneck, a sculpture by Clement J. Barnhorn, and a historic Matthias Schwab organ. I have included some of the photographs I have taken of the Basilica while living in Northern Kentucky.

Basilica 1
Basilica from Devou Park
Basilica 2
Basilica Rear Facade
Basilica 3
Stained Glass
Basilica 4
Tower Detail
Basilica 5
Front Entrance
Basilica 6
Towers with Gargoyles

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Covington Landing & Newport

Covington Landing, Northern Kentucky
Mansion at Covington Landing
Covington Landing
Statue at Covington Landing
Peace Bell 2
Peace Bell in Newport, Kentucky
Covington Landing
John James Audubon Statue,
Covington Landing
Statue at Covington Landing
Peace Bell 1
Peace Bell Detail,
Newport, Kentucky

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Kentucky Sunrise
Kentucky Sunrise
Anderson Ferry
Anderson Ferry
East Fork State Park
East Fork State Park Reservoir
East Fork Sunrise
East Fork State Park Sunrise
The workers at Turway Raceway
Sharon Woods
Sharon Woods Bridge
Taft Museum
Taft Museum in Winter
Maine Strasse Clock
Carroll Chimes Bell Tower
in MainStrasse Village

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Cincinnati Zoo Photo Gallery

For a smaller city, Cincinnati is blessed to have one of the nation's finest zoos. My wife and I were members for four years and spend many weekends photographing the animals. Below are descriptions of some of my favorite exhibits.

Reesus Monkey
Indian Elephant

The Lowland Gorilla Exhibit

Colossus Colossus

"Opened in 1978 as a naturalistic, rain forest habitat for the Cincinnati Zoo's popular lowland gorillas. Other animals housed here are crowned guenons and colobus monkeys. Because of the success of our gorilla breeding program, Newsweek called the Cincinnati Zoo the 'sexiest zoo in the country.'

I feel that one of the biggest attractions at the Cincinnati Zoo is the primates and one of the biggest of these is Colossus. When you first see Colossus, you get the impression that this big fellow is quite a bit agitated at being gawked at by thousands of visitors every year. He seems a bit bored and a bit  angry at the same time. The cries of, "Hey, monkey!" from the less-literate visitors don't do a lot for my patience either.

I actually feel very depressed each time I leave the gorilla exhibit - not because I wish they would be released into the wild or that I feel they are mistreated - I feel a little bummed out because they seem to want to be anywhere but on display. From the lectures given by the zoo staff, Colossus has never been that inclined to mate with the females. Who can blame the guy?

Mother and Baby Mother & Baby

Jungle Trails

"Jungle Trails is a naturalized rain forest habitat, teeming with rare and exotic wildlife and hundreds of plant species from Asia and Africa. The exhibit, with both indoor and outdoor viewing areas, has become the home for the Zoo's collection of rare primates, including endangered bonobo chimpanzees, orangutans and lemurs. In addition, Jungle Trails houses birds and reptiles from Asian and African rain forest regions. Jungle Trails received the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's prestigious exhibit award in 1994."

Jungle Trails is a fairly recent addition to the Cincinnati Zoo. It consists of a walking path through a very realistic jungle recreation. The exhibits are distributed along the path at very natural intervals. My favorite part of the exhibit is the Sumatran Orangutan exhibit. We spend up to an hour at this exhibit each time we come to the zoo. Orangutans are very quiet and seemingly shy primates. If you are quiet and avoid direct eye contact (very important in the primate world), they will demonstrate their curiosity; especially if you have odd looking camera equipment. I tend to do most of my observing from behind my camera to avoid making them feel uncomfortable.

Sumatran Orangutan

OrangutanSumatran Orangutan

Lords of the Arctic

Polar Bear 1
Arctic Polar Bear

One of the newest exhibits at the zoo is Lords of the Arctic. This incredible exhibit ($2.75 million, 21,000 square feet exhibit) houses four polar bears. The exhibit has two sections and includes a reconstruction of a rocky coastline and two underwater sections (12-feet deep, 70,000 gallons). On one end of the exhibit, there is a glass-walled viewing area from which to watch these Arctic giants in their natural surroundings, water.
These huge glass panes allow you to get very close to these amazingly powerful animals. The glass is 10-ply security glass and for good reason. The bears love to dive underwater, conduct a casual descent to the glass and use their powerful back feet to push themselves through the water. Occasionally, a bear will smack the glass with its front paws in an attempt to startle those standing a bit too close for comfort. This is usually followed by squeals and giggles from children.

Deep down inside, I am very glad for the 10-ply glass and usually leave the exhibit with a bit more respect for the power of these amazing animals. I am also very thankful that I am not a seal in the Arctic who faces these 775-1500 lb predators.

Polar Bear 2
Arctic Polar Bear

The Big Cats

The Big Cat exhibits are not grouped together but I am including them together for convenience. In addition to the wonderful African lions, the zoo boasts the world's largest collection of White (mistakenly labeled Siberian) tigers.

The White Tiger Controversy
There is some controversy among naturalists concerning the zoo's seeming infatuation with their white tigers. David Quammen, one of the world's most renowned science and nature writers, had this to say in a chapter of his masterfully written Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, dedicated to the Cincinnati Zoo and the white tiger breeding program:

"The white tiger is not an endangered species. Not is it even an endangered subspecies like... the Asiatic lion. A white tiger is something quite different: a mutant."

David Quammen, Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, pp. 83-84

Nearly all of the white tiger breeding done at the zoo is between siblings. Additionally, one of the prime breeding female white tigers, Kesari, has deliver twenty-five live born white cubs - an impossibility for tigers in the wild. David Quammen asked Bob Lotshaw, the curator of tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo, what the real purpose of inbreeding a family line to produce dozens of white tiger cubs was and he was told, "It's marketing. It's popularity. It's a major source of income for continuing other programs here at the zoo." David Quammen, Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, p. 86

Given this mindset, it is difficult to speak to the pristine environment or natural processes - it is a zoo after all. Considering Cincinnati's outstanding international prestige and top-notch facilities, focusing on only one breeding program is a little trivial. Considering a family membership to the zoo with parking runs around $80 per year, it's no wonder that the zoo is enjoying the successes of it's white tiger breeding program. The going price for a white tiger cub is $60,000 - that's quite a few membership fees as well as a lot of families who will come to the zoo every year, stroll past the white tiger exhibit, and exclaim, "Look daddy! A Siberian tiger!".

White Lioness
White Lion
White Tiger
White Tiger

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Last Update: July 8, 2006

Copyright © Rich Adams 2005
All Rights Reserved