Though half a world away, the mountainous areas of Asia share a similar climate and landscape with Northeast Ohio. Forests, hilly backdrops and variable temperatures define the region. The Zoo is already home to several species native to such terrain: visitor’s favorite red panda and snow leopard, and the Amur leopard. All three species will call Asian Highlands’ home in Summer 2018. The Zoo will also introduce a new species, takin, to Cleveland.
About the habitat
Asian Highlands is currently being built along the outer pathway of Wilderness Trek, a hilly area that already highlights forest-dwelling species such as bears, wolves and tigers. It will be adjacent to Rosebrough Tiger Passage, which features similar habitat design to plans for Asian Highlands.
Asian Highlands will maximize vertical space and climbing opportunities to showcase the species’ agility and preference for being up high. Red panda spend most of their lives in trees. Snow leopards traverse landscape edges. Amur leopards are often seen resting in places with high vantage points.
Overhead tunnels will connect four large outdoor yards for the two leopard species, allowing maximum choice for the animals and an intriguing view for guests. The cats will have four times the size of their current space, and the yards will be fully meshed, allowing outdoor access around the clock.
Climbing poles and tree “nests” that mimic natural resting places will be included for red panda. Rocky outcrops will provide high vantage points for the red pandas and cats.
All of the species are cold-hardy, meaning they can remain outdoors throughout Ohio winters. In the warmer months, the habitat’s cooling caves and slabs will bring relief during the hottest summer temperatures.
You can help!
Your donation can help capital improvement projects like Asian Highlands.
Make a donation at the top of this page or request to be contacted by a staff member for more information by emailing Stracensky@ClevelandZooSociety.org.
Travis Vineyard, Animal Curator at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, shares updates on construction and its progress.