For the 21st consecutive year, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has continued its streak of over one million visitors for the year of 2013.
In 2013, a total of 1,123,660 guests passed through the entrance into the Zoo. This is slightly down from the 1,170,443 total of 2013 but consideration was made for the extraordinary amount of rain that fell in the summer months in Cleveland last year. The day with the highest attendance was August 2 when 13,842 guests arrived. The lowest tally was on January 22 (when the thermometer hovered at 11 degrees) when 179 hardy souls braved the cold to come out to the zoo. The big draw last summer was the return of “Dinosaurs” as 216,520 took a stroll back through ancient forests surrounding the Waterfowl Lake.
Last summer also saw the introduction of the new Executive Zoo Director, Dr. Chris Kuhar who took over the position from retiring 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.
Also of special note in 2013 was the announcement and groundbreaking of the Circle of Wildlife Carousel Ride as well as the new Nature Discovery Zone in the area known as Savanna Ridge. Once completed (late spring 2014) the carousel will have 64 beautiful hand carved wildlife figures and two “chariots” and will be housed in a three season pavilion. The Zoo also redesigned and updated its website making it cleaner, easier to navigate and with a more modern look.
In the news, the Zoo made headlines with the birth of the first ever baby giant anteater in the RainForest as well as the announcement of George Owoyesigire, a senior wildlife officer from Uganda, being the first recipient of the new Steve H. Taylor Conservation award. The Zoo’s African Elephant Crossing exhibit was awarded Gold-Level certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program, which is 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, visitclevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.