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Today's Family Magazine

RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo reopens!

The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will reopen to the public Tuesday, March 2, after undergoing improvements, including the replacement of its iconic geodesic dome.

Following recommended COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, building capacity will be reduced and guests will follow a one-way directional flow through the two-story habitat. Floor decals will reinforce social distancing guidelines, elevators will be limited to one family group at a time and restrooms will be available. Facial coverings at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest are required for those 6 years of age and older, with the exception of individuals with a qualifying medical condition.

The RainForest has been closed to the public while undergoing a complete replacement of its iconic geodesic dome. The new 40-foot-tall dome that sits above the popular orangutan habitat uses a state-of-the-art material, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), to improve lightning and energy efficiency. The multilayer ETFE technology replicates the natural biomes of Southeast Asia where orangutans live. In addition, the new dome allowed for upgrades to the vertical space and climbing areas for orangutans.

“We are excited to welcome our guests back to one of the Zoo’s most beloved attractions, The RainForest,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo executive director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “At 28 years old, this was a critical capital improvement project featuring state-of-the-art technology that will benefit both our guests and animals.”

Guests visiting The RainForest can experience more than 10,000 plants and 600 animals including new animals that have arrived in recent months:
  • A female binturong, also known as a bearcat, one of only two of the world’s carnivores that has a prehensile tail. Fun fact: binturongs give off an odor that smells like popcorn!
  • Several new bird species including northern orioles, blue-headed doves, golden-crested mynahs and a red-crested turaco.
  • An expanded otter family: female Asian small-clawed otter, Bitzy, gave birth to two female otter pups, Munti and Magana, last fall.
  • Panamanian golden frogs.
The RainForest including the The RainForest Café and Gift Shop will open seven days a week. Visit for the latest hours and ticket information.