With so many events and activities this season at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, visitors may need help in identifying those "can't miss" opportunities. So we created a list. We're calling it our "Top Ten Must-Zoo Activities" for summer 2010.
10. Put your hard hats on and watch us steamroll your recycled aluminum cans. June 20 is "Father's Day/Hard Hat Day," and just for dads, the Zoo is crushing donated cans with a mini steamroller in a public demonstration. Proceeds from this "Cans for Conservation" drive will support the International Rhino Foundation.
9. Challenge your friends to a "dung duel." Who can roll it the fastest in Dung Beetle Derby? How long does it take an elephant to poop your body weight? Who can make the silliest face in the outhouse? It's all in "The Scoop on Poop" in the Zoo's Exhibit Hall.
8. Watch a butterfly hatch. The viewing box at FLUTTER! is one of the Zoo's hidden treasures. Exquisite tropical butterflies continuously emerge from beautiful chrysalises in the Public Greenhouse at Waterfowl Lake.
7. Watch a five-acre world-class elephant exhibit take shape before your eyes. Get the very latest construction updates in a daily talk at noon called "Have You Herd?" at the African Elephant Crossing construction zone.
6. Experience the wild sensation of dozens of ladybugs in your hands. Zoo horticulturists need your help with their annual release of ladybugs into the Zoo's gardens to act as a natural pesticide at ZooBlooms on July 17.
5. Watch Zookeepers train seals and sea lions. Learn how the Zoo trains animals for cooperative behaviors, and meet the Zoo's newest marine mammals, one-year-old rescued sea lions Annabelle and Buzz in Northern Trek.
4. Get up close and personal with lorikeets. Feed nectar to the free-flying and brightly colored lorikeets at Lorikeet Aviary in Australian Adventure.
3. Demonstrate your finesse in riding a camel. It's not as easy as it looks. Take a ride way up high on a dromedary camel in Australian Adventure.
2. Go on an African safari. Meet animals, take night hikes and join a story circle when you stay overnight at Rising Waters Safari Camp in African Savanna.
1. See and feel the 18-inch purple prehensile tongue of a giraffe. The Zoo introduces public giraffe feedings on the Giraffe Deck this summer.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended summer weekend hours. Admission is $10 per person, $7 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2 and Zoo members.
To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.