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Year in Review: Animals that arrived in 2017

It’s been a busy year at the Zoo! We’ve seen significant species births and have welcomed new faces that have educated and entertained guests. With just a few weeks left of 2017, let's recap and read about some of the Zoo’s new arrivals.

5d4-9784-czs-spring-editPhoto courtesy of Dale McDonald, Cleveland Zoo Society

Mexican gray wolf pack

Technically these wolves arrived at the Zoo in late 2016. But, like all animals new to Cleveland, the pack went through a quarantine process before settling in at Wolf Wilderness in early 2017.

What guests may find interesting about the Zoo’s wolf pack is that it’s managed differently than most of the other animals at the Zoo. The pack is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - not the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan - because each wolf is a candidate for reintroduction into the wild. Read more and watch a video of the wolves during their first week in their habitat in our blog The Zoo’s new Mexican wolves.


Photo courtesy of Dale McDonald, Cleveland Zoo Society

Amur tiger Hector

After months of preparation and thousands of miles, Hector arrived from England earlier this year to his new home at Rosebrough Tiger Passage. Hector quickly started utlizing all spaces within the habitat - and is known to nap in the overhead tunnels. Learn about the extensive planning process in our blog A Tiger’s Trip to Cleveland.


Photo courtesy of Dale McDonald, Cleveland Zoo Society

Persian onager Cody

Persian onagers are a species of wild ass native to the Middle East and eastern Asia, but today there are only about 500 left in the entire world. The onagers were active this summer when a new male, Cody, arrived and will have access to their outdoor yard all winter since they are used to extreme desert climates. Cody was brought to Cleveland as a potential mate for the two female onagers, Poonzdah and Dorri.

Learn more about onagers and what we're doing to help them in zoos and in the wild in the video below.

Animal Spotlight: Persian Onagers


Photo courtesy of Gina Wilkolak, Cleveland Zoo Society

Red panda cubs

Born in June, the male brothers spent most of the summer in the “nest box” but are now very visible in their outdoor habitat! Swing by the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building to see if they’re out exploring. Also, check out the construction of Asian Highlands when you're at the Zoo this winter; Asian Highlands will be the new home for red panda, snow leopard and more when it opens in summer 2018.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Lanzer, Cleveland Metroparks

Pied tamarin twins

Back in August, pied tamarin twins were born in The RainForest. They are new world monkeys native to the Amazon region of Brazil and are called pied because of their variegated coloration. Swing by the tamarin exhibits near the waterfall on your next visit and see if you can spot them!


Photo courtesy of Dale McDonald, Cleveland Zoo Society

Masai giraffe Zawadi

Zawadi was one of our social media stars of the year after his birth in August! Standing more than 6 feet tall at birth, Zawadi was the 48th calf born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Zoo guests were encouraged to help pick his name through donating to giraffe conservation this past summer. Donations for the naming contest totaled $2,314.96, which went toward the Future for Wildlife Fund to help monitor and protect endangered giraffe populations.

Learn more from the Zoo’s website here and see Zawadi’s first day outside in August below.

Giraffe Calf (August 16, 2017)


Photos courtesy of Jason Orlando, Cleveland Zoo Society

Gorillas Freddy and Kebi

After the passing of silverback Bebac in January 2017, staff worked for months with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan to identify the next steps for Cleveland’s gorilla program.

Fredrika (or Freddy) a 43-year old female from Zoo Miami and Kebi Moya (or Kebi) a 26-year old female from Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, both arrived earlier this year in advance of their introduction to the Zoo’s longtime resident male Mokolo. Two female gorillas were selected to come to Cleveland because the arrangement mirrors social structures that occur in the wild, where gorillas live in family groups with one dominant male and several females and juveniles.

Learn more about the process behind our 2017 gorilla program and see video of the new group exploring their habitat together in our blog Science in Action: Monitoring Mokolo.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Lanzer, Cleveland Metroparks

Masai giraffe Bo

Nearly 17-feet-tall, one of the Zoo’s newest animals is also its tallest! In fall 2017, the Zoo welcomed 13-year-old Bo from Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin. Bo was recommended by the SSP to come to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to breed. Learn more from the Zoo’s press release here.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Lanzer, Cleveland Metroparks

Otter pups

Born on September 24 to mom “Bitzy” and dad “Kibble,” these pups quickly dominated the internet with the cuteness of their birth announcement in early November. Learn more from the Zoo’s press release here.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Lanzer, Cleveland Metroparks

Sloth bear Shiva

In early October, the Zoo welcomed female sloth bear Shiva from the Leipzig Zoo in Germany as a potential breeding mate for 12-year-old Balawat. Visit the sloth bears in Wilderness Trek today. Learn more from here.

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