Twilight at the Zoo

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Our partnership with the Cleveland Guardians’ community outreach efforts continues! Guardians shortstop and outfielder Amed Rosario recently stopped by for another visit at the Zoo as part of “Amed’s Animals!”

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Amed was presented with a pair of customized cleats to wear during games

With the help of local artist Jonathan Hrusovsky, the Zoo Society presented Amed with a pair of customized cleats for him to wear during games. These one-of-a-kind, hand-painted shoes highlight the important work happening to create a better Zoo for our community. We can’t wait to see them during Guardians games!

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Artist Jonathan Hrusovsky of Hrusovsky's Custom Kicks and Amed

A Cleveland native, Jonathan Hrusovsky spent 38 hours hand-painting the custom cleats for Amed. His inspiration for the animals featured on the cleats came from a recent Zoo visit. “I loved seeing the next generation of animals, including the baby rhino and gorilla,” said Jonathan. “My entire visit was inspirational, informative and interactive!”

Hrusovsky's Custom Kicks has worked with several players around Major League Baseball to make one-of-a-kind cleat designs. In recent years, the MLB has loosened restrictions on the colors and designs of players’ shoes, giving players like Amed the option to share projects they’re passionate about.

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Making Of: Amed Rosario's Custom Zoo Society Cleats

Amed first visited the Zoo in April. He went to several animal locations and met with Cleveland Metropolitan School District students helping at the E-Recycling Day with MCPC event where more than 21,000 lbs. of electronic devices were kept out of landfills thanks to donations.

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Amed visited several locations around the Zoo in April 2023

Donate today
Make a donation in honor of “Amed’s Animals” to support animal care efforts at the Zoo.

The Zoo’s Animal Care program consists of all aspects of care — from the foods the animals eat, to habitat design and enrichment opportunities those animals receive, to innovative research that informs future management practices.

Each year, the Cleveland Zoological Society provides $200,000 to the Zoo for animal care. Research supplies and equipment, high-quality food, and staff training are supported by generous private philanthropy. In addition, Zoo Society donors have funded Zoo facilities — the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine and an on-site hay storage barn — to support animal care and welfare teams.

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Amed wearing the custom cleats during a game in June 2023 (Photos courtesy of CLE Inspires and Cleveland Guardians)

About the partnership: The Guardians’ CLE Inspires program pairs players with nonprofits in Cleveland to get players connected to Cleveland and bring some publicity to local groups. Amed chose the Cleveland Zoo Society because he is passionate about wildlife care and conserving the environment. Originally from the Dominican Republic, his ongoing visits to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo bridge his love of animals with his second home here in Cleveland.

The partnership will also include interviews at the Zoo to be shown on social media and during Guardians home games.

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