Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM) today kicked-off a long-term project to create the Primate Forest, a 140,000 square foot world-class indoor destination that will transform and significantly expand the Zoo’s RainForest and create a new home for the Zoo’s gorillas and orangutans.
The initial expansion will be centered around the two-story CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery, a new entranceway to the Primate Forest that will immerse guests in the wonders of the natural world through interactive technology, multi-story play structures and more.
“The partnership with CrossCountry Mortgage is catalytic to bringing a truly transformative experience to Cleveland,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. “The new CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery and yet to be named Primate Forest habitats will connect our guests with wildlife like never before.”
The Primate Forest will incorporate state-of-the-art technology and the latest research on animal care and conservation. In addition to the new CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery, the Primate Forest will add two new expansive, multi-story habitats for gorillas and orangutans. In 2021, the Zoo celebrated the birth of both a baby gorilla and baby orangutan, two of the world’s most endangered primates. The Primate Forest will also incorporate the more than 10,000 plants and over 600 animals that currently live in The RainForest through additional enhancements.
“It has been exciting to watch this partnership take shape,” said Laura Soave, Chief Brand Officer for CCM. “We are proud to support one of the Zoo’s most significant enhancements in several years and look forward to welcoming Northeast Ohio to what will truly be a world-class experience of discovery.”
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo became one of the region’s most visited year-round attractions when The RainForest first opened in 1992 and has drawn over a million visitors nearly every year since then. In 2021, the Zoo attracted over 1.3 million guests, the highest visitation in a decade, following historic animal births including the baby gorilla, Kayembe, the opening of new Eagle Zip Adventure and record-breaking community events like Asian Lantern Festival and Wild Winter Lights.
Since 2011, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society have invested more than $35 million in larger and more complex animal habitats, including African Elephant Crossing, Rosebrough Tiger Passage, Asian Highlands and the Daniel Maltz Rhino Reserve. The Primate Forest, including the CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery, is a multi-year, multi-phased project and construction could begin as early as next year. CCM is a long-term strategic partner of the Cleveland Metroparks and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Cleveland Zoological Society is actively fundraising for the Primate Forest, which is expected to be funded primarily by philanthropic donations. Additional details, including total project cost, are to be determined as construction plans are finalized.
About CrossCountry Mortgage
CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM) is one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders, with 7,600 employees operating nearly 600 branches across all 50 states. Our company has been recognized eight times on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private businesses and has received many awards for our standout culture. We offer more than 100 mortgage, refinance and home equity solutions – ranging from conventional and jumbo mortgages to government-insured programs for Veterans and rural homebuyers – and we are a direct lender and approved seller and servicer by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae. Through our dedication to getting it done, we make every mortgage feel like a win. Visit www.crosscountrymortgage.com
About Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a nationally-recognized leader among zoos and aquariums in North America with over 2,000 animals across 400 species from around the world. The Zoo specializes in animal care, education and research and is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Visit FutureForWildlife.org
for more information.
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