Work begins on new Asian Highlands exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
State of the art exhibit is future home to Amur and snow leopards, red pandas and takin
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo officially broke ground today on Asian Highlands, a new state-of-the-art exhibit that will enhance animal habitats as well as create a more engaging guest experience focusing on conservation. The new global destination area of the zoo, set to open in Summer 2018, will be home to the Zoo’s Amur leopard, snow leopard, red pandas, including two red panda babies born at the Zoo in June, and takin. Once complete, the total footprint of Asian Highlands will be just shy of an acre. Guests will experience central Chinese influenced architecture and stone work, incorporating elements of Asian culture throughout. A diverse array of natural elements found in the regions of Asia where these species reside in the wild will be replicated throughout the habitats.
The Amur and snow leopards will be provided over four times the amount of space. The new exhibit will give the animals an opportunity to rotate between four different interconnected habitat areas that offer complexity and new enrichment features, including elevated platforms and tunnels, climbing poles and more. The red pandas will also enjoy a significantly larger, more complex space. Also included in the project will be a renovated yard for a new species for the Zoo, the takin, a goat-antelope species.
Glass viewing in the new $4.5 million dollar exhibit will allow guests unobstructed views of the animals, allowing guests to connect with the animals like never before.
“The Zoo is actively involved in the conservation of these ambassador species’ counterparts in the wild,” says Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Chris Kuhar. “The exhibit will offer guests some unique ways to learn about and join our conservation community that supports scientists studying and protecting Asian wildlife in their natural habitats.”
Asian Highlands will be home to all of these endangered species, especially one of the most endangered big cats on Earth, the Amur Leopard, with fewer than 100 known to remain in the wild. Asian Highlands will be funded jointly by Cleveland Metroparks and the Cleveland Zoological Society, the nonprofit partner of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Zoo Society will provide up to $3.8 million to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for construction of the new habitat. The exhibit is part of the Zoo’s Master Plan to create more dynamic spaces for the animals and an immersive experience for guests.
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
Since 1995, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $6 million to wildlife conservation efforts in partnership with Cleveland Zoological Society. Each year the Zoo contributes more than $600,000 annually to conservation programs, the vast majority come from community donations. While visiting Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, guests can take action to secure a future for wildlife. Visitors can donate through ‘Quarters for Conservation,’ ‘round-up’ for conservation programs at Zoo retail locations and donate to the Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Fund. To learn more or join our conservation community, visit futureforwildlife.org.
Cleveland Metroparks Media Contacts:
Director of Communications Jacqueline Gerling, 216-635-3338
External Communications Coordinator Jeffrey Tolman, 216-635-3274