Part of the Zoo’s spectacular Africa! exhibit, the spacious Malawi Event Center is the perfect place for your large-scale special event, accommodating over 900 guests.
One of its highlights includes a nearly 75 foot Aquarium wall filled with hundreds of Lake Victoria African cichlids, also on exhibit in the Zoo’s Aquarium. These fish are a unique and highly endangered species flock of over 300 historic species, of which perhaps half remain extant in the lake and in captivity. Recent information indicates that the Lake dried up completely 12,400 years ago; meaning the species flock has evolved since then. The introduction of exotic species into this ecosystem, combined with over-harvesting and eutrophication (overabundance of nutrients) have all contributed to the collapse of this unique group of colorful fish.
In an effort to help save the species, Toledo Zoo received its first Haplochromis piceatus from the New England Aquarium in 1990. In the last 20+ years, the species has flourished here and our current population is 655 fish, with a total North American Species Survival Plan population of around 800 fish.
Check out our collection of cichlids either in the new Malawi event center or the Toledo Zoo’s Aquarium!