If it’s possible to have a pride and joy within a pride and joy, the Cleveland Metropark Zoo is, quite possibly, the jewel of the “Emerald Necklace” that is the Cleveland Metroparks system.
The sprawling, 183-acre indoor/outdoor facility is home to more than 3,000 animals representing north of 600 different species. The zoo features seven main exhibits, including a five-acre elephant crossing, an eight-acre Australian habitat and an African savannah that's so realistic that if it weren't for the sidewalks, strollers and school groups, you’d think you were watching the bonteboks feed in Namibia.
What You'll See:
- Our zoo houses one of the largest primate collections in all of North America. While some live in the permanent RainForest exhibit, most live in the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building on the west side of the zoo. Here you’ll find gorillas, new world monkeys, lemurs and orangutans.
- Speaking of orangutans, one of the most popular families at the zoo is that of Bornean orangutans Tiram, Kera, Merah and Zaki. Merah and Zaki, born in 2017 and 2021, respectively, have captivated zoogoers. They are two of several Cleveland Zoo babies born to great fanfare over the last several years. Joining these next-gen orangutans are recent zoo babies are giraffe Kendi, born in 2020 and Kayembe, who in 2021 became the first baby gorilla in the zoo's history. They’re all still tiny and have that new-mammal smell. Which is adorable.
What Else to Do?
- Who says going to the zoo has to be a summertime event? The animals are still there all winter long and the tram that carts visitors from exhibit to exhibit is actually heated. And if you’re really looking to get out of the cold, the two-story rainforest exhibit is heated and is as hot as, well, a rainforest, even in the throes of a bone-chilling Cleveland winter.