CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has announced plans to expand the rhino habitat in the zoo's African Savanna destination.
According to a release, the expansion will include an additional outdoor rhino yard that will more than double the size of the zoo's habitat for its Eastern black rhino herd of five.
The expansion will also include an additional rhino barn and several new features in the habitat including overhead shade, misting areas, a mud wallow, vegetation and rubbing posts. There will also be a larger, fully accessible viewing deck for guests.
“Cleveland Metroparks has had tremendous success in breeding critically endangered Eastern black rhinos including the birth of two rhino calves in 2018,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “This expansion will better equip us to care for our rhino herd as we work to protect one of the world’s most critically endangered species.”
The new yard and additional barn will replace the former Monkey Island exhibit that was recently removed. The monkeys that were housed there are now in a nearby habitat that offers them more space to climb.
“While Monkey Island was a popular exhibit when it first opened, the structure was more than 85 years old and no longer met our internal standards for animal habitats,” said Kuhar.
The rhino yard expansion will be funded by the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cleveland Zoological Society. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed in spring 2020.