Cleveland Metroparks Zoo surpassed 1 million visitors for the 21st consecutive year in 2013.
Attendance in 2013 was 1,123,660, down only a small amount from the 1,170,443 guests recorded in 2012, despite the abundance of rain that drenched the Cleveland area last summer. The highest daily attendance in 2013 was August 2, with 13,842 guests. The lowest tally came on January 22, with a high of 11 degrees, when 179 hardy visitors ventured to the Zoo.
The return of Dinosaurs! was the big draw for the Zoo last year with 218,520 guests embarking on the prehistoric adventure surrounding Waterfowl Lake.
Last year was also the first full year under the leadership of new Executive Zoo Director Dr. Chris Kuhar, who took over after the retirement of long-running Zoo Director Steve Taylor. Kuhar was previously one of the Zoo's animal curators, making for a smooth transition in the Zoo's top spot.
In 2013, the Zoo announced plans and broke ground on a grand Circle of Wildlife carousel ride and accompanying Nature Discovery Zone in the area known as Savanna Ridge. When it's completed in late spring 2014, the carousel will boast 64 beautifully hand-carved wildlife figures and two �chariots� in a three-season pavilion. Updates at the Zoo carried over to the virtual world as well when the Zoo's website was redesigned and re-launched last year with a cleaner, more modern look, easier navigability and enhanced features.
The Zoo made headlines in 2013 with its first-ever birth of a baby giant anteater in The RainForest, and announced George Owoyesigire, a senior wildlife officer from Uganda, as the first recipient of the new Steve H. Taylor Conservation award.
The Zoo's African Elephant Crossing exhibit received Gold-level certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program, a major step in the Zoo's increasing efforts to become a more sustainable organization.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Through March 31 admission is discounted to $8.25 per person, $5.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and is free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.