The Cleveland Metroparks is one of the best parks systems in the United States, circling Cleveland in what is known as the Emerald Necklance
One of their main features closer into the city is the Metroparks Zoo, only 5 miles from downtown Cleveland.
While much smaller than the more famous Columbus Zoo, in my opinion it is nicer in that there is far less commercialization.
The Metroparks Zoo does have a number of themed exhibit areas including the Rain Forest. This building, as the name indicates, brings together the plants and wildlife of the jungles.
This little guy is a Golden Lion Tamarin, a highly endangered animal from Brazil.
The bird below is a Scarlet Ibis. The zoo found it was losing it’s natural color, until they added shrimp to it’s diet.
A Capybara. While he was in his controlled habitat here, we once had the opportunity to meet one up close in British Columbia. The Capybara is known as the world’s largest rodent, but they seem pretty cool to me.
Bornean Orangutan. So much for that vegetarian diet keeping weight down – this guy can weigh over 300 pounds.
The Emerald Tree Boa. 8 feet long with fang like teeth!
We left the Rain Forest and headed up through the main section of the zoo, stopping to check out the elephants.
Cleveland has some ravines, and the zoo is built in, and up above one. After the hike up the hill we made our way to the Primates, Cat & Aquatics indoor habitat (with some outdoor space as well).
The Mandrill below is a large monkey, weighing up to 80 pounds.
One of the many Lemurs.
This cat like animal is known as a Fossa, from Madagascar. Those in the animal business apparently debate if it is more like a mongoose or a cat.
More Lemurs – the is time Ring Tailed. This is the most common Lemur.
Another Lemur – I tried to have a staring contest, which I obviously lost.
But it was time to move over to the Aquatic side of the house. Our first tank we came to gave us this great view!
We headed back down the hill to the African Savanna section for lions…
Our final section was the Wilderness Trek. As I always note on trips to the zoo, I am always torn by being in the presence of such great animals, and the fact that they are stuck in cages. But as with the Tamarin without some conservation some breeds would be totally lost.