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Today's Family Magazine

Make a difference for wildlife at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

A new structure at the entrance to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is helping each guest make a difference for wildlife.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion opened this summer and features videos and informational signage about the Zoo's Future for Wildlife conservation programs.  These programs support work being done to study, monitor and secure a future for species in more than two dozen countries around the world.  The Zoo’s six main Future for Wildlife programs are: 

Gorilla: Only 850 mountain gorillas remain in two populations in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Giraffe: The current giraffe population is estimated to be less than 80,000 - about 1/5 of the number of African elephants.

Andean bear: The only bear species native to South America is at risk from rapid habitat loss.

Asian turtle: Nearly 80% of these species threatened by large-scale, unsustainable trade for sale in food markets and traditional medicine.

Lion and Cheetah: Conflict with humans and habitat loss has decreased population more than 40% in the last 20 years.

Illegal Wildlife Trade: Tigers, elephants, rhinos, slow lorises, and other threatened species are in danger of disappearing in our lifetime due to the illegal and unsustainable trade in wildlife and wildlife products.

Inside the Mandel 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 token, symbolic of 50 cents per each ticket that's donated to conservation.  Starting this year, $5 of each Zoo Society membership is also given to conservation.

The Mandel Pavilion was funded through a generous 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.”

Over the past 25 years, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $7.5 million to 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. 

To become a Zoo Society member, visit

You can make a difference
Each time you visit the Zoo, you are supporting conservation efforts.  But what else can you do support the animals you love?

Be a smart shopper: Choose sustainably made items like shade grown coffee and chocolate,  and avoid products made from protected animals.  Skip the straw when you go through the fast food line and bring your own bags to pack groceries.

Be an advocate: Share your conservation actions on social media and encourage others to join you.  Write your local and federal politicians to encourage protection of the Endangered Species Act and other laws.

Donate: Visit the Mandel Pavilion with your token or your coins to make a gift that supports the Zoo’s efforts to help animals throughout the world.

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