Meeting Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio
Fun fact: The Cincinnati Zoo has been around since 1875. Since we’ve made it our mission to discover the wonders in our own backyard, we had to take a trip to Ohio to check it out. And we were so excited, because we would get to do a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities. So, we put on our masks, and off we went.
Making New Friends
From the moment we arrived, we felt like VIPs — since the zoo’s director himself, Thane Maynard, would be the one showing us around. We started the tour by visiting the hippo habitat. But we didn’t just get to look at these beautiful creatures through a glass. We were actually taken to the feeding area, so that we could have a more interactive experience.
This is where we got to meet Fiona, a lovely and friendly hippo who was happy to greet us. This beautiful girl swam up to us and got as close as possible. She seemed to be as curious as we were about this special introduction. She actually climbed up a wall to get closer to us! My heart was so happy, I could barely take it! Her mom, Bebe — as any human mom can probably understand — stood by, watching. But honestly, I think she was just hanging around hoping for some extra treats.
Delving Further Into the Animal Kingdom
As we continued our tour, we learned that the Cincinnati Zoo is also a wildlife sanctuary for bald eagles who’ve been injured. It also lets visitors feed giraffes, which made us and these majestic creatures really happy. I mean, wouldn’t you love to be fed lettuce all day? And y’all, we even met a baby giraffe named Theo! But even though my heart felt like it couldn’t take so much cuteness at once, we soon realized that we’d be meeting more cute furry babies.
After feeding the giraffes, we got to visit the Roo Valley, an expansive area where you can walk among kangaroos. That’s right. No cages. You can see these babies lounging around in sun spots and playing. How’s that for a unique experience? We also got to check out Little Blue Penguins — which are also native to Australia. They are so little, guys. Like tiny and adorable swimming babies.
Food and Spirits
While animals are cute and all, I’m sure y’all can agree that at some point, it’s just as exciting to find a good place to eat. And we found the coolest burger joint, Wild Burger, right in the middle of the park. There’s something else that was really cool about it, but you’ll have to watch to find out what it is. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to listen to a lovely symphony of singing Gibbon monkeys while you eat. Watching them swing from branch to branch is pretty entertaining, too.
More Furry Babies at the Cincinnati Zoo
As if we hadn’t already enjoyed a full day of great experiences to write home about, we also got to meet a baby rhino and a baby red-crowned crane bird. My heart could hardly take all this cuteness overload. We also loved learning about each of these animals and how they develop as they grow up. Overall, this day was one of my favorite Airstream experiences, so far. If you’re ever in Cincinnati, make sure to visit this zoo!
Lauren Davenport is the CEO of healthcare communications firm, The Symphony Agency, providing technology and marketing solutions to help healthcare practices grow fast and efficiently. She’s been featured in Forbes and local magazines, showcasing her experiences as a small business owner. Daniel Fernandez is the Chief Experience Officer at the Symphony Agency and host of The Healthcare CEO podcast.