Cleveland’s zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals representing some 600 species. The newest exhibit at the zoo is the five-acre African Elephant Crossing, a state-of-the art elephant habitat containing a deep-water swim channel, a shallower swim area with a waterfall, and a kopje rock feeding station offering nose-to-trunk viewing windows. In the African village (modeled after the villages of Botswana), your kids will find a meerkat display, an aviary featuring 10 species of birds native to Africa, and large wildlife viewing decks. The Crossing also exhibits naked mole rats, an African rock python, and a type of miniature antelope known as Kirk’s dik-dik.
Another very popular area here is the two-acre, two-story Rain Forest exhibit, which shows off 600 animals and more than 10,000 plants from the jungles of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Here, your kids will meet a troop of orangutans, endangered ocelots, and Asian small-clawed otters, among other creatures. Watch for the tropical rainstorm, which goes off every 12 minutes. In Northern Trek, you’ll view cold-climate animals like polar bears, reindeer, and harbor seals. This area boasts one of the largest collections of bear species in North America. Finally, be sure to check out the Australian Adventure, with its 55-foot-high, Yagga-tree play area. The zoo tram provides free transportation around the zoo, and parking is free, as well.
New for 2016 is Tiger Passage, a $4.1 million-dollar state-of-the-art space with four different habitats for the zoo’s two Amur tigers to explore.