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Animals not to miss at the Zoo this winter

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open all four seasons – 363 days a year! – and some animals are more active in the winter months.

One of the best places to see animals enjoying our colder weather is Wilderness Trek, home to takin, bears, seals and sea lions, and tigers. Here are animals to be on the lookout for this season:

Takin

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Photo taken by long-time member Nanette Patrick

One of the Zoo’s newer residents is a goat-antelope species native to the Himalayan region of Tibet and China. Strong legs, stable hooves and a stocky build make these large animals built for navigating rocky outcrops. This small herd – three males (Doc, Thor and Pac-man) came from The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio; this is their first winter in Cleveland. Revered as a national treasure in China, takin receive the highest protection status but still face risks of poaching for their coats and meat. Habitat destruction of bamboo forests near their mountainous ranges also contributes to their decline in the wild.

Amur tigers

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Hector and Klechka are enjoying the cold weather up in Rosebrough Tiger Passage. The tigers routinely use the overhead tunnels and open grassy knolls, and more and more they are even stretching their muscles on the climbing poles! Amur tigers are native to the Russian Far East, which has a climate similar to Northeast Ohio. The exhibit has large heated rocks for our tigers to enjoy when it gets cold, and they still have access to the outdoors around the clock. Be sure to rest on the heated rocks for our guests, too!

Grizzly bears

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Brothers Cody and Cooper are a visitor favorite, especially when they wrestle in the water during the summer months. In the winter they shake off the snow from their thick coats and explore the logs and ledges in the habitat.

Reindeer

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Did you know that reindeer hooves and fur adapt to the season? In the winter, the coat gets longer and denser to provide warmth. Hoof pads tighten, exposing the hoof rim that can be used to gain traction and cut into crusted snow and ice.

Wolves

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The lodge at Wolf Wilderness is a perfect spot for a winter warm-up. See the Mexican grey wolves become more active with cooler weather, check out the beavers swimming in the outdoor pond, and then stop for a rest by the fire in the cabin.

Bald Eagle

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The majestic national symbol can be found outside the entrance to Wolf Wilderness. His white head may be more difficult to spot when snow falls, but be sure to sneak a peak.

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