Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!! The zoo certainly is one of the most fun places to go. Read on to see why. Then go see for yourself!!!
The weather here in NE Ohio has been absolutely amazing this past week. Sunny skies, flowers in bloom, fresh air – all good for our post Covid activities. I started to think about all the cool places to go, and of course topping my list was our Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. It’s a nationally renowned zoo, in an amazing setting – so fun to go strolling and visiting the animals. Jackie and I have visited on numerous occasions with our girls over the years, we are now looking forward to taking our grandchildren! I looked on Wikipedia, and found a whole bunch of cool information on the history and development over the years (it’s kind of long, but great trivia). For those who live nearby, be sure to visit, and for my out-of-town friends, it’s worth the trip (and also good for you to go to the zoo in your cities). Fun additional tidbit, this incredible zoo is free to residents of Cuyahoga County on Monday’s! Enjoy, and be sure to talk to the animals I certainly have!
Fun Music Link while reading.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a 183-acre zoo in Cleveland, Ohio. The Zoo is divided into several areas: Australian Adventure; African Savanna; Northern Wilderness Trek, The Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building, Waterfowl Lake, The RainForest, and the newly added Asian Highlands. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has one of the largest collections of primates in North America, The Zoo is a part of the Cleveland Metroparks system.
The Zoo, originally named the Cleveland Zoological Park, first opened in 1882 at Wade Park where the Cleveland Museum of Art now stands, after Jeptha H. Wade donated 73-acres of land and 14 American deer to the City of Cleveland. During its early years, the Zoo only held animals of local origin.
In 1907, the city of Cleveland moved the Zoo to its current location in Old Brooklyn, and the Zoo acquired its first elephant. Today the Zoo’s official website states that it currently has 3,000 animal residents representing more than 600 different species.
Aside from walking, Zoo patrons may opt to ride the two “ZooTram” lines which shuttle visitors between the Welcome Plaza (near African Elephant Crossing) and the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building; and between the Welcome Plaza (near the food court) and the Northern Trek.
The RainForest, opened in 1992, is one of the most popular exhibits at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. It is contained in a large, two-story building with over 2 acres of floor space, making it one of the largest indoor tropical environments in the world. The RainForest boasts more than 10,000 plants and over 600 animals from the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The opening of the RainForest also introduced the Metroparks Zoo’s first permanent reptile collection since the flooding in 1959.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s newer exhibit, African Elephant Crossing, opened on May 5, 2011. Spread over five acres of lightly wooded grasslands, African Elephant Crossing features two large yards for roaming, ponds for swimming, expanded sleeping quarters and a heated outdoor range. The naturalistic habitat is capable of housing up to 10 elephants at a time, including at least one bull and eventually calves. African Elephant Crossing is also home to meerkats, naked mole rats, an African rock python and a spectacular collection of colorful birds.
Willy, the first adult male elephant in Cleveland since 1962, has one tusk and is also the largest animal ever on exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo at 11-feet tall at the shoulder and 13,000 pounds.
The major animal of the Rainforest is the Bornean orangutan, of which the zoo has four: male Tiram and females Kera Wak, Kayla, and Merah. Merah is the most recent Orangutan baby at the zoo, born in 2014 to Tiram and Kera Wak.
Animals contained in the RainForest include: Straw colored fruit bats, Rodrigues flying foxes, giant anteaters, capybaras, scarlet ibis, prehensile-tailed porcupines, White faced whistling ducks, two-toed sloths, Asian water monitors, Ocelots, Clouded leopards, Ringed teals, green and black poison arrow frogs, macaws, Mouse deer, a reticulated python, green vine snakes, Roseate spoonbills, batagur turtles, Asian small-clawed otters, François’ langurs, extremely rare fishing cats, and several gharials as well as invertebrates, amphibians, turtles, and a Dwarf crocodile.
As part of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s focus on conservation, the Zoo constructed the Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine in September 2004. The center hosts medical, laboratory and surgical suites, in addition to a ward and quarantine area. Its veterinary hospital is equipped with the first CT scanner for use in a zoo hospital.
In 2011, the Zoo opened its new elephant exhibit, African Elephant Crossing. At a total cost of $25 million, the state of the art habitat quadrupled the elephants’ living space, allowing the zoo to increase its number of African elephants from three, to a herd of eight to ten. The exhibit features two large ranges—the Savanna and the Mopani—spread out over several acres. The ranges include deep ponds so that the elephants can swim, as well as expanded sleeping quarters. Periodically throughout the day, the elephants are shepherded across the pathway between the ranges, allowing visitors an up-close view of the animals. In addition to expanding the number of African elephants, the African Elephant Crossing exhibit introduced meerkats, naked mole rats, an African rock python and several species of birds.
The African Savanna area is located near the park entrance. Visitors can observe African lions, flamingos, giraffes, zebras, bontebok, a variety of African birds, black rhinos, Slender horned gazelles, and colobus monkeys. the African elephant crossing contains elephants and meerkats. In 2018, a baby rhino, named Lulu, was born to parents Forrest and Kibbibi. On August 20 of the same year, another baby rhino, named Nia, was born to parents Forrest and Inge.
The Australian Adventure area is an 8-acre (3.2 ha) exhibit designed to resemble the Australian outback. It is home to wallaroos, kangaroos, Emu and wallabies that roam freely throughout Wallaby Walkabout.
Located in Koala Junction, Gum Leaf Hideout is home to the zoo’s collection of bettongs, koalas, Matschie’s tree-kangaroos, and short-beaked echidnas.
Modeled after a traditional 19th-century sheep station, the Reinberger Homestead offers Zoo visitors a look into Australian home life. The area contains animatronics of a koala and Kookaburra, who speak about the culture.
Designed to replicate the Australian outback, Wallaby Walkabout features winding paths that visitors share with kangaroos, wallabies, and wallaroos during the months of April through October. The landscape includes vegetation intended to be consumed by the animals. Families can also take a train ride through the exhibit.
The artificial, 55 foot tall Baobab known as the Yagga Tree is the star of Australian Adventure. It contains exhibits for a prehensile-tailed skink, a cane toad, and a sugar glider, as well as another animatronic, this time a crocodile named Wooly Bill.
The Wilderness Trek area is home to cold climate animals such as Siberian tigers, grizzly bears, Tufted deer, Reindeer, the endangered Persian onager, and Red crowned cranes which remain active outdoors year-round. The California sea lion/harbor seal exhibits feature large pools for visitors to observe the animals at play. The Metroparks Zoo also contains one of the largest collections of bear species in North America, including grizzly bears, Andean bears, Malayan sun bears, North American black bears, and sloth bears. On January 14, 2019 a female sloth bear named Shive gave birth to a female cub named Shala. Shala was the first sloth bear cub born at the zoo in 30 years
Wolf Wilderness gives visitors a comprehensive look into the environment and wildlife of a northern temperate forest. Wolf Wilderness is one of the principal North American habitats at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The exhibit consists of the Wolf Lodge, a large woodland enclosure for the wolves, a 65,000-gallon pond, and panoramic viewing rooms.
The first exhibit room is dedicated to the six Mexican gray wolves contained in a vast, wooded area directly behind the Wolf Lodge. Zoo patrons can observe the wolves through a large viewing room with floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out into the habitat. Although visitors can also view the wolves from this room, the principal exhibits are the Canadian beaver habitat, the 65,000-US-gallon (250,000 l; 54,000 imp gal) freshwater pond, and the Zoo’s collection of bald eagles. The Canadian beaver habitat features an artificial beaver dam with cross-sectional windows that grant visitors a chance to view the beavers’ nest within.
Asian Highlands opened June 12, 2018. This exhibit features expanded habitats for snow leopards, Amur leopards, and red pandas, and also includes takins on April 22, 2018 three snow leopard cubs were born.
Opened originally as the Primate & Cat Building in 1975, the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building houses one of the largest collections of primate species in North America, including western lowland gorillas, New World monkeys, aye-ayes, and several species of lemur. However, the building does not house the Zoo’s entire primate population; numerous primate species can also be found in the Rain Forest.
In 1985, the Cleveland Aquarium permanently closed and donated its collection of exotic fishes and invertebrates to the Metroparks Zoo. A section of the Primate & Cat building was renovated to accommodate the new Aquatics section, which currently features 35 salt- and freshwater exhibits include piranhas, a giant Pacific octopus, electric eels, fish and hundreds of living coral.
The zoo’s slowest resident, the Aldabra giant tortoise, can be found in the enclosure directly across from its fastest resident, the cheetah. Several of the tortoises are over one-hundred years old.
The marshy shallows of Waterfowl Lake are home to Chilean flamingos, Black swan, and Canvasback ducks, trumpeter swans. During the summer months, Müller’s gibbons and lemurs populate the lake’s islands, and use ropes suspended above the water to navigate between them. Visitors can observe predatory birds such as Andean condors and Steller’s sea eagles in-flight within towering, outdoor flight cages on the lake’s eastern shore. The nearby Public Greenhouse contains hundreds of tropical plant species in addition to a seasonal butterfly exhibit. Waterfowl Lake is also the site of Wade Hall, one of the oldest zoo buildings in North America. Today, the hall serves as a Victorian ice cream parlor for Pierre’s Ice Cream Company.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is one of five city zoos in Ohio. The ‘Buckeye State’ has been referred to as a “Zoo State”, as only California rivals Ohio in the sheer number of options zoogoers have for visiting reputable zoos.
A 2014 “Top Ten” ranking of the nation’s zoos by USA Today (based on data provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums) recognized the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for being nominated for the USA Today award. Three other Ohio zoos were nominated and won awards for the ‘Best US Zoo’ contest: the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and the Toledo Zoo.
Arguably the most famous animal resident in the Cleveland Metropark Zoo’s history, Timmy attained greater fame as a very prolific sire at the Bronx Zoo. Although, he was known as the “dud stud” at the Cleveland zoo, he proved to be quite virile after he arrived at the Bronx Zoo on loan. Timmy was managed indoors in human care for 25 years before being sent on breeding loan to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s main campus and headquarters at the Bronx Zoo.
The move was highly controversial. The consideration of separating Timmy from his companion Kate, was met with much protest by animal rights activists and was the subject of a federal court case.
However, Timmy went on to sire more than 13 offspring in New York, many of whom were conceived in the Bronx Zoo’s state-of-the-art Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, which opened after his arrival in New York City.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s annual fall event, “Boo at the Zoo”, takes place in October. Visitors can observe the various cold weather animals that still roam outside, and are encouraged to wear costumes to the park. The Boo at the Zoo event is a safe Halloween option that offers animal shows, live performances, and other fall-related activities.
In Spring 2015, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opened a new reception event center, Stillwater Place. Offering scenic views of nearby Waterfowl Lake and a capacity of up to 300 guests, Stillwater Place is open year-round and caters to many occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, reunions and more.
DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good. :-))))