What We Do Capital Improvements

Since 1998, the Zoo Society has provided $30 million in funding for the Zoo's capital improvement projects. From past projects that are now guest favorites to upcoming habitats, the Zoo Society works to support the Zoo's strategic plan. 

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Daniel Maltz Rhino Reserve (Opening Spring 2020)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society announced the significant enhancement of its rhino habitat which will be named the Daniel Maltz Rhino Reserve. The announcement follows two significant donations to the project. In honor of Daniel Maltz's gift, the Reserve will be named after him. Equally generous support from The Walter E. and Jean C. Kalberer Foundation will fund the project’s Walter Kalberer Bull Barn and Jean Kalberer Rhino Yard.

Plans to significantly expand the rhino habitat were announced last year and construction began in September. The Zoo Society Board of Directors has committed to fully fund the $2.5 million project.  The enhancement will more than double the size of the Zoo’s habitat for its critically endangered Eastern black rhinoceros herd. Learn more...

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Asian Highlands (Opened 2018)

The immersive habitat in Wilderness Trek is the home for the Amur leopard, snow leopards, red pandas, and takin, a species new to Cleveland. The footprint of Asian Highlands totals 1.3 acres, giving all species larger and more complex spaces. The project borrowed design ideas from Rosebrough Tiger Passage, introducing climbing platforms and overhead tunnels for the cats, as well as interconnected yards to enrich the cats’ daily route, and several close-up viewing spots for guests. The total project cost for Asian Highlands was $5.8 million; Zoo Society donors provided $3.8 million. Learn more...

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Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion (Opened 2018)
In June 2018, the Cleveland Zoological Society and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo hosted a dedication ceremony of the new Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Mandel Pavilion, located at the entrance to the Zoo, raises awareness of the Zoo’s longstanding commitment to international conservation programs, and allows guests an easy way to Make a Difference for wildlife. Each guest who enters the Zoo is given a green token, which is deposited in a donation box in the Mandel Pavilion, with each box supporting a different Future for Wildlife program

The Mandel Pavilion was made possible by a generous $500,000 gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Learn more...

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Rosebrough Tiger Passage (Opened 2016)
A state-of-the-art home for the Zoo's endangered Amur tigers, Rosebrough Tiger Passage features interconnected yards, ample guest viewing and overhead walkways for the cats. The Zoo Society committed $2.5 million toward the exhibit’s $4.1 million total cost, including a naming level gift from Northeast Ohio philanthropists Carol and Walt Rosebrough. Learn more...


Circle of Wildlife Carousel & Nature Discovery Ridge (Opened 2014)
Located near Stillwater Place, the Circle of Wildlife Carousel is a destination for a special occasion or a restful moment during a busy Zoo day. Nature Discovery Ridge provides a space for outdoor play and an opportunity to learn about local habitats and animals. Learn more...


African Elephant Crossing (Opened 2011)
The much-celebrated African Elephant Crossing is an outstanding place to raise awareness of conservation challenges in sub-Saharan Africa and the high standards of animal care the Zoo provides its herd of African giants. The habitat is Gold certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. The $12.8 million raised through the Zoo Society’s capital campaign was three times larger that any previous campaign. Learn more...


Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine (Opened 2004)
One of the most visible measures of excellence at the Zoo is the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.The SAS Center contributes to the scientific advancement of zoo veterinary medicine worldwide. The David Steffee Chair for Veterinary Medicine underwrites training for scientists and practicing veterinarians from developing countries, as well as innovative research.The world-class facility was made possible by a successful $4.4 million campaign that funded approximately half the total cost of construction. Learn more...

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