Who We Are Photos & Videos


Healthy Populations - Species Survival Plans

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) maintains Species Survival Plans (SSPs) for more than 500 species with the goal of managing and conserving a typically threatened or endangered species. Learn more from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's veterinarian, Dr. Barbarits.

Being a Zoo Veterinarian - Working with Different Animals

For Dr. Barbarits of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Veterinary Services team, every day is different, and the passion to provide the highest standards of animal welfare makes for an intense, non-stop schedule.

Meet the Veterinarian - Dr. Barbarits

Hired in 2016, Dr. Barbarits is the newest member of the Veterinary Services team at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

David Steffee Address in Veterinary Medicine 2016

Saki monkey baby

Have you seen Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's newest arrival, a baby White-faced Saki monkey? The baby is an important example of how your Zoo is working to support sustainable animal populations. The baby’s parents are the most valuable genetic pairing in the Species Survival Plan, which manages populations of animals in Zoos. Stop by and visit the baby today in Primate, Cats & Aquatics building. Learn more at aza.org.

Year in Review 2016

Thanks for a great year with the Cleveland Zoological Society!

Thank You 2016

Thank you for supporting us as we continue to build a vibrant and thriving Zoo for Cleveland.

Meerkat pumpkin enrichment

Happy halloween from all of us at the Zoo Society! The meerkats enjoyed eating some mealworms in a carved pumpkin. Don't forget the Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 31.

Grizzly bears

The grizzly bear’s scientific name is Ursus arctos horribilis, which means “terrifying bear.” Many people are afraid that they may be attacked by a grizzly in the wild, but most attacks are usually the result of mothers protecting offspring or being startled near a food source.


The unique, aquatic salamander the hellbender has a name worthy of a horror film. The species may have been named by settlers of eastern North America who thought “it was a creature from hell where it’s bent on returning.” Hellbenders are solitary, nocturnal salamanders – so the chance of encountering one is slim.

Poison dart frogs

Beautifully colored but dangerous in the wild, poison dart frogs can excrete an alkaloid-based poison from the skin that can kill or paralyze snakes and large spiders. The toxicity comes from its diet, which is mostly ants, centipedes and mites. Frogs in captivity, like the ones at your Zoo, are not toxic since they are fed a diet of fruit flies and crickets.

Bats at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Are you afraid of bats? Fear of bats is called chiroptophobia and originates from the fear of blood feeding bats. But there’s no reason to be afraid! There are only three bat species out of more than 1,200 that feed on blood and they live in Latin America (phew!). The majority of bat species will feed on insects, fruit and nectar.


Next up on our week of de-mystifying Halloween animals – the aye-aye! Many Madagascar natives believe that if an aye-aye points their middle finger at someone they are marked for death. An aye-aye’s hands are actually designed perfectly for foraging. They have delicate fingers and use their long middle finger for eating, drinking and grooming.


Halloween is almost here! Let’s spend the next few days de-mystifying some scary, creepy and crawly animals. First up is the red-bellied piranha. These animals get a bad rap for going into feeding frenzies, and movies sometimes show them stripping their prey in a matter of minutes. In reality, piranhas mainly feed on fish, insects and aquatic vertebrates. Piranha feeding frenzies occasionally occur because of starvation or provocation – but rarely do they attack at random.

Sameera explores outdoors

Dasha gets her feet wet at Rosebrough Tiger Passage

Rosebrough Tiger Passage opened at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2016.

Male ocelot goes for a swim

Have you seen the Zoo's male ocelot Raif go for a swim in The RainForest?

Kallie eats breakfast 10.10.16

An African elephant's trunk contains more than 40,000 muscles and is capable of both great strength and dexterity. See how Kallie worked for her breakfast this morning!

Forrest - New Black Rhino

Hey Forrest, happy World Rhino Day and welcome to Cleveland! Forrest is a black rhinoceros, which are critically endangered in the wild. Learn more about #savingspecies at www.aza.org/SAFE-black-rhino.

Origami Elephants for Conservation

The Cleveland Zoological Society is proud to support 96 Elephants and their campaign to bring awareness for elephant conservation by attempting to break a Guinness World Record title. ClevelandZooSociety.org/origami Music: http://www.bensound.com

Gorillas at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Your Zoo has two bachelor silverback gorillas, Bebac and Mokolo, and is working to help gorillas in the wild. We support declaring September 9 World Great Apes Day. Daily Beetle Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Burmese python shift/transport box

How would you safely clean the habitat of an 82-pound Burmese python? Staff at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo came up with a creative solution. "Autumn Day" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Giant anteater baby

A giant anteater baby was born in The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on August 22, 2016. Music: http://www.bensound.com

Allen's swamp monkey pool enrichment

Allen’s swamp monkey Fen may not be diving like an Olympian, but he loves to dive for grapes. Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a Family membership. Facebook.com/clevezoosociety

Dasha uses the overhead trail at Rosebrough Tiger Passage

Rosebrough Tiger Passage opened in June 2016. The new exhibit is five times the size of the previous exhibit. A key design feature is four separate, interconnected habitat areas for the tigers to roam, including two overhead elevated pathways that provide unique viewing for Zoo visitors and a way for the tigers to move between their habitat areas. Rosebrough Tiger Passage includes heated rocks, bodies of water and vertical climbing poles. Music courtesy of: http://www.bensound.com/

Fish at Primate, Cat & Aquatics

Our fish have synchronized swimming down until it’s time to eat! Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a Family membership. Facebook.com/clevezoosociety

Grizzly bears Cody and Cooper

Cody and Cooper are getting in the Olympic spirit by working on their wrestling moves. Visit our Facebook page on Sunday, August 14 for a chance to win a Family membership. facebook.com/clevezoosociety

Merah the Bornean orangutan

Our Olympic Games giveaways continue! Merah is practicing her uneven bar routine in anticipation of cheering on the gymnasts today. Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a Family membership. Facebook.com/clevezoosociety

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's seal and sea lions

Buzz, Annabelle and Nemo are ready to cheer on the swimmers! In the spirit of the Olympic Games, we're going to be giving away some Family memberships over the next few days on our Facebook page. Visit us there for a chance to win! Facebook.com/clevezoosociety

Sameera antics vol. 1

Snow leopard cub Sameera definitely has some personality!

Snow leopard cub Sameera

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced the snow leopard cub's name is Sameera!

The future for our trumpeter swans

Find out how Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is helping the trumpeter swan population. Music: http://www.bensound.com

Snow leopard cub plays with mom

A female snow leopard cub was born on May 5 to first-time mom Sombra and six-time dad Amga at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. She now weighs in at over eight pounds and has started to show her more playful side when interacting with mom. The snow leopard cub needs a name, and you can help! Click here to vote: http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Zoo/Name-Our-Baby-Snow-Leopard.aspx The winning name will be announced on Thursday, July 28.

Snow Leopard Cub Exam at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

See moments from the snow leopard cub's first veterinary exam at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Plains Garter Snake Tagging June 2016

Twenty Plains garter snakes were recently born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. See how we tagged them before release into the wild! Happy Alley Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Amur tigers at Rosebrough Tiger Passage

Dasha and Klechka, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's two Amur tigers, are enjoying the weather in Rosebrough Tiger Passage.

Rosebrough Tiger Passage Opening - June 2016

Rosebrough Tiger Passage officially opened to the public on June 3, 2016 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. For more information, visit www.ClevelandZooSociety.org Music courtesy of: "Going Higher" http://www.bensound.com/

Twilight at the Zoo 2016

Join us for Cleveland's largest fundraiser and a celebration of the city's vibrant music scene! Twilight at the Zoo presented by Medical Mutual is the wildest party of the summer! Must be 21 or older to attend. Purchase tickets: http://clevelandzoosociety.org/events/schedule-of-events/2016/08/05/twilight-at-the-zoo Music courtesy of: http://www.bensound.com/ "Happy Rock"

Grizzly Bear Enrichment - May 2016

Thank you to members of our young professionals group who last week made enrichment buckets for our bears, like the one our grizzly Cooper is enjoying! Music courtesy of: "Wallpaper" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Mueller's Gibbons at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The Mueller's gibbons are now in their summer home! Visit them at Waterfowl Lake on your next visit to the Zoo. Become a member and get in free all year: http://www.clevelandzoosociety.org Music: Fretless Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Tree Installation at Rosebrough Tiger Passage

A chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) was installed at the Rosebrough Tiger Passage construction site earlier this week. The installed tree and root ball weighed 18,000 pounds! Chinquapin oak trees are are native to eastern and central North America. Rosebrough Tiger Passage is set to open early June 2016. Music courtesy of: http://www.bensound.com

National Zookeeper Week 2015 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

THANK YOU to our keepers who take such great care of our animals. Music courtesy of: http://www.purple-planet.com

Gharial training at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Need help with some Zoo terms? Enrichment: encouraging natural behaviors that an animal would display in the wild Target training: rewarding an animal after it touches the target Crate training: rewarding an animal for going into a crate for transportation Scale training: training an animal to voluntarily stand on a scale to get a weight measurement Object desensitization: rewarding an animal after being touched with an object so it is not nervous being touched by that object General husbandry: caring for animals Make a donation to the We Care for Animals Fund and support the Zoo's animals at ClevelandZooSociety.org Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod ("Carefree" at Incompetech.com)

Cleveland Zoo Society's 2014 Year in Review

Check out all the great things that happened in 2014 at the Cleveland Zoological Society and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! ClevelandZooSociety.org Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod ("Life of Riley" at Incompetech.com)

David Steffee Address in Veterinary Medicine at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo 2014

Recorded September 30, 2014 at the 10th annual David Steffee Address in Veterinary Medicine at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Enjoy watching this panel discussion with three of our top Zoo experts discussing animal care and scientific management of our animal collection at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Dan Moulthrop, CEO at The City Club of Cleveland, moderated an insightful conversation about how science plays an effective role when examining diet, reproduction and conservation of animals here at our Zoo and in the wild. Panelists: Christopher Kuhar, Ph.D., Executive Director Kristen E. Lukas, Ph.D., Director of Conservation and Science, Mandi Wilder Schook, Ph.D., Associate Research Curator Moderator: Dan Moulthrop CEO at The City Club of Cleveland Topics 18:20 What does an endocrinologist do? 20:21 Day to day - "What drives you?" 22:38 Getting excited about zoos as a student - Chris Kuhar 25:03 The science and husbandry behind breeding in a zoo 34:22 Identifying the conservation projects we want to be involved in 37:20 Evolution of the world of zoos 40:37 We'll never stop evolving as a zoo 45:14 STEM education 46:44 Partnerships with the medical community 47:48 Mandrill training 52:04 Working with Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's gorillas 58:36 Understanding animal welfare 1:02:00 Q&A with audience ClevelandZooSociety.org

We Care for Animals - Rhinos

If you’d like to help all of the Zoo’s animals, including our crash of rhinos, receive fresh, healthy and nutritious food designed to meet their needs, consider making a donation to the We Care for Animals fund. Make a donation: http://goo.gl/YutGM3 Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod ("Happy Alley" at Incompetech.com)

Elevated Hay Feeders at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (featuring Willy!)

Thanks to generous donations to the We Care for Animals fund, a new shade structure with elevated hay feeders was recently installed in the Savanna Range of African Elephant Crossing at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Make a donation at ClevelandZooSociety.org Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod ("Carefree" at Incompetech.com)

Spring cleaning! (Roseate spoonbill)

See the roseate spoonbill inside The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Thank You 2015

Thank you for supporting us as we continue to build a vibrant and thriving Zoo for Cleveland. As 2016 begins, we look forward to our favorite Zoo events, member visits, VIP experiences, the opening of Rosebrough Tiger Passage and more! Music courtesy of: http://www.bensound.com

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