It's Time... The CHEETAH RUNS and MORE at The Columbus Zoo

posted by Chris -

Need some weekend plans?  Check this out... Heart of Africa is BACK!

It's time for the cheetah runs and more at our Columbus Zoo and Aquarium!  I had a chance to talk to Suzie Rapp, Vice President of Animal Programs about some cool stuff going on at our Columbus Zoo as Heart of Africa has returned!

Daily schedule of special experiences at Heart of Africa:  

Giraffe feedings*: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. (and 5 p.m. May 23-Sept. 7) 

Lion keeper talk: 10 a.m. 

Cheetah runs:    10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Vervet keeper talk: 4 p.m. 

Camel rides*:  All day 

*Requires a small fee. 

Heart of Africa is NOW open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 23.... Then the hours extend to 7 p.m. 

My quick conversation with Suzie below and much more on all the Heart of Africa events HERE!


Some Heart of Africa highlights... 

More than 130 animals representing about 20 species– including lions, giraffes, cheetahs, vervet monkeys, zebras, camels, wildebeest, kudus,  gazelles and ostriches!

Cranes and storks when Central Ohio temperatures rise...

Come face-to-face with some of the tallest mammals on earth, and even feed giraffes by hand!

Watch the fastest land animal go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds during the cheetah runs (more on that in my interview above)

Ride a camel in Mudiwa Village...   

Lion and vervet keeper talks to give you a inside look at how the animals are taken care of...

Information on how you can help these animals in the wild... 


Thanks for tuning in to #TakeoverTuesday via Facebook Live today! We hope you enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the work being done by the animal care team at the Heart of Africa savanna. Check out all of today’s videos linked in our story and share your favorite moment from today’s adventures in the comments below!

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"Home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 575 species from  around the globe, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads and inspires by connecting people and wildlife. 

The Zoo complex is a recreational and  education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Course. 

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also  operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park  located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; annually contributing more than $2 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. 

A 501(c)(3)  nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s  prestigious 4-star rating." - Columbus Zoo website


Training medical behaviors for our animal ambassadors is extremely important for the animals and their health. We use positive reinforcement, which is a technique were we ask an animal to do something and we reward them with food if they choose to participate. Here, I am training our 3.5-year-old cheetah, Misi, for voluntary x-rays without anesthesia and she’s receiving her meat diet with an extra tasty treat that she loves—raw chicken! These voluntary x-rays are important for us to be able to provide the best animal care as well as allow our animal health team to monitor her overall health. –Brannon, Animal Programs Specialist

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Happy #LunarNewYear! 2018 is the #YearoftheDog, and we’re celebrating the fine pooches who help us raise baby animals like cheetahs. Here’s a #FlashbackFriday pic of Emmett and his puppy “brother,” Cullen!🐶🐆

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