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Conservation front and center

A new structure at the Zoo entrance is helping bring to the forefront the Zoo’s longstanding commitment to helping animals in the wild.welcomepaviliondale9

Have you ever wondered how you can make a difference for the animals you love to visit at the Zoo?

Each animal at the Zoo is an ambassador for that species in the wild. By learning about protecting tigers from illegal trade or preventing habitat loss that threatens Andean bears, Zoo guests can help secure a future for these animals. A new building at the Zoo is helping bring these messages to each Zoo guest right at the beginning of their visit.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion opened in early June and features videos and informational signage about the Zoo's Future for Wildlife conservation programs. Visitors can learn about critically endangered Asian turtle species, see video of gorillas in the wild and more.

Inside the Mandel Welcome Pavilion are donation stations where guests can make cash donations or "vote" on their favorite conservation project using a token given out at the Zoo's entrance. Each visitor to the Zoo is given this green Make a Difference token, symbolic of 50 cents per each admission ticket that's donated to conservation. As of this year, $5 of every Zoo Society membership also supports conservation.


The Mandel Welcome Pavilion was made possible by a generous $500,000 gift to the Cleveland Zoological Society from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution in Cleveland.

“We are so pleased to support Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s efforts to engage the community in learning about animals in Ohio and conservation efforts around the world,” said Morton Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. “Each trip a child makes to the Zoo can help them connect with nature and teach them the importance of protecting and conserving wild spaces.”


Your Zoo has been committed to wildlife conservation for more than 25 years and has contributed more than $7.5 million to wildlife conservation efforts around the world in partnership with the Cleveland Zoological Society. In 2017, the Zoo dedicated more than $600,000 to global wildlife conservation efforts.

The Mandel Welcome Pavilion helps bring those conservation efforts to the forefront, especially for the Zoo’s one million visitors a year, said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Christopher Kuhar.

Mandel Pavilion Dedication - June 5, 2018: Dr. Christopher Kuhar

“When I first met Mr. Mandel, he was remarking on the difference between his visit to the Zoo as a child and his most recent visit. We discussed the Zoo's conservation and education programs and he urged us to get these great stories in front of people, as they weren't part of his experience in the historical zoo,” said Kuhar at a June 5 dedication ceremony for the Mandel Pavilion.

“This was great news for me. Because we educate 100,000 school children annually, and we've been doing conservation work around the world for over 25 years. But too few people knew it. The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion will show all of our guests the connection between their favorite animals and the great conservation and education programs that the Zoo offers here and around the world.”

To learn more about the Zoo's Future for Wildlfie conservation program, go to

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