Come see our dynamic elephant facility!

Tembo Trail

In this innovative new exhibit, you could be surrounded by elephants on three sides, at one point even possibly coming eye-to-eye with these majestic animals. Smart engineering has helped us remove the “indoor/outdoor” barrier of old-style exhibits, making you feel closer than perhaps you ever have before.

With these remarkable visitor experiences, we’ve blended nearly limitless enrichment opportunities for the elephants. Clever elevated feeders and waterers, enrichment walls and trees all feature flexible options that can change at the touch of a button, creating a dynamic space.

As amazing as our new elephant facility is, it’s just part of your journey – as you wind through Tembo Trail, you’ll also encounter hippos, rhinos and more. This is a whole new look and feel to the area you’ve known as the Savanna or the Savanna path, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Watch the You Tube video below!

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Meet our animals

African elephants

photo of elephantsWe care deeply for elephants here at the Toledo Zoo and around the world. That’s why we take such good care of them. Our elephants have a very high quality of life, with physical and psychological needs consistently met through excellent nutrition and dietary variety; a daily exercise regimen; outstanding animal husbandry; superb veterinary care; physical changes and additions to their exhibit; and novel stimuli and behavioral enrichment.

This all comes together in Tembo Trail, which was designed around the belief that, in addition to the animals having their needs met, they should have choices about how they spend their time. Learn more here.

Naked mole rats

image of a naked musk rat

The rat race returns! Available again for public viewing – inside the elephants’ indoor quarters – is our colony of approximately 40 naked mole rats which have been off-exhibit the last several years.

African spotted-necked otter

photo of spotted-necked otterA new otter species for the Zoo, the spotted-necked otters arrived in late spring, 2012 and will be on exhibit for visitors with the Grand Opening of Tembo Trail. The otter’s fur is dense and water-repellent, and its long tail tapers to a flat point.

African slender-snouted crocodile

photo of a camel

With a snout customized for catching fish, this animal is native to central and western Africa. It is one of the least-known crocodilians. The Zoo’s slender-snouted crocodile is a female, and several of the crocs in today’s U.S. zoos are descended from her.

Watusi Cattle

photo of Watusi cattle

Watusi cattle have gigantic horns and are raised domestically in Africa.


photo of a meerkat

Often one or more meerkats will stand on guard, watching for danger while the other animals feed or relax. Species Survival Plan (SSP) animal; learn more at

Nile hippopotamus

photo of a hippo

This underwater viewing exhibit was the first of its kind worldwide when the Zoo unveiled it in 1986. Another first for the Hippoquarium® came in 1987, when a hippo birth occurred during Zoo hours and was viewed by visitors and captured on videotape. This was the first time anyone had viewed the underwater birth of a hippo. Species Survival Plan (SSP) animal; learn more at

Learn more about our hippos here.

White rhinoceros

photo of a rhino

The Zoo’s two rhinos, Sam and Lulu, are in their late 30s and early 40s, respectively, and are considered geriatric – they are a tribute to the excellent care the Zoo provides to older animals. Lulu has an “upside down horn” (from rubbing her horn against surfaces); visitors quickly recognize her because of this. The white rhinoceros is an odd-toed ungulate, with a footprint shaped like the ace of clubs.                                                      Species Survival Plan (SSP) animal; learn more at

Learn more about our rhinos here.