Monday, May 19, 2008

Cleveland Rocks... well more like Roars

One of my favorite things about living in Cleveland is the zoo. Some people are bar hoppers, others dig the sports, but for our family it is all about the zoo. Coming from a city where the exhibits were embarrassingly bare and cold, I was amazed the first time I visited the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. I fell in love with the Rainforest (despite it housing the source of many nightmares-snakes), the butterfly exhibit, and my ultimate favorite- the Northern Trek.

The Northern Trek features- you guessed it- cold weather animals. But there are a few surprises here like the camel, tigers, and a wide variety of bears. My Gabby is a huge fan of the wolf exhibit which features a pack of wolves in a more natural, woodland environment. There is a viewing area behind glass where you can see the den, but it is open like most exhibits are. I have always enjoyed the polar bears and the sea lions, the staff keeps them well supplied with toys and there is one particular Sea Lion that enjoys showing off to the crowds.

The Rainforest is also a pretty neat place to visit, although I don't visit it as often in the summer. It is a steamy, somewhat pungent place, but a feast for the eyes. The plants themselves are spectacular, and there are some pretty neat animals in there like the bats and the orangutans. Every few minutes too there is a tropical rain storm which is pretty neat. My only problem is with the fact that there are some HUGE snakes there... specifically one python who sits atop of an elephant statue. Eeek!

One special thing about the zoo itself is that Mondays are free for Cuyahoga residents. If you don't like crowds- especially crowds of noisy school age children- then I reccomend going another day, but this is a great thing for people who don't have the extra money to shell out but want to share the animals with their family.

So that is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! A great place to visit if you are ever in town and well worth the money. There are always extra exhibits too like Touch! where you can pet sting rays and sharks and the newest attraction for the summer- Frogs, Hogs, & Dogs, which will feature singing dogs. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the zoo!

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