The Columbus Zoo opened in 1927 and was operated as part of the City of Columbus until 1970. At that time, the non-profit Columbus Zoological Park Association, Inc., assumed responsibility for the daily operation of the Zoo.
In 1956, the Columbus Zoo became one of the first Central Ohio institutions to garner international recognition, thanks to Colo, the world's first gorilla born in captivity. Now 50, Colo is still a "must see" to the 1.4 million visitors that attend the Zoo every year.
In addition to being a top attraction in Central Ohio, the Columbus Zoo has also earned a reputation in both animal breeding in captivity, and in maintaining comfortable habitats where rare and endangered species can thrive.
In addition to Bodhi, a male Asian elephant, and Dotty, a female lowland gorilla, the zoo has overseen successful breeding for species as diverse as bonobos, fish, Komodo dragons, duiker, Mexican wolves, penguins and many others. Recently, the Zoo also provided homes for two orphaned Alaskan brown bears, and two rescued young manatees.
Unlike many communities, the Columbus Zoo enjoys balanced support from visitors, private donors, corporate sponsors and public funding. John Gerlach & Company has provided audits and related services for more than a decade. These services help the zoo meet the varied oversight and certification needs of these different constituencies.