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'Major announcement' revealed: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to create 'Primate Forest' as new home for gorillas and orangutans, expansion of RainForest

Construction on the multi-year, multi-phased project could begin as early as next year.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has revealed details of the "major announcement" they had been teasing as it will create the Primate Forest, a 140,000-square-foot indoor destination that will serve as the new home for the park's gorillas and orangutans. It will also "transform and significantly expand" the zoo's existing RainForest attraction.

The Primate Forest will be a "multi-year, multi-phased project" that zoo officials hope to begin construction on as early as next year. The total cost has not yet been determined as construction plans continue to be finalized. The Cleveland Zoological Society is actively fundraising for the project, which is expected to be funded primarily by philanthropic donations.  

Zoo officials say the initial expansion will be centered around the two-story CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery, a new entranceway to the Primate Forest "that will immerse guests in the wonders of the natural world through interactive technology, multi-story play structures and more."

Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

“The partnership with CrossCountry Mortgage is catalytic to bringing a truly transformative experience to Cleveland,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman in a statement. “The new CrossCountry Mortgage Forest Gallery and yet to be named Primate Forest habitats will connect our guests with wildlife like never before.”

The Primate Forest will also add two new expansive, multi-story habitats for gorillas and orangutans. This comes after Cleveland Metroparks Zoo celebrated the birth last year of both a baby gorilla and baby orangutan, two of the world’s most endangered primates. The Primate Forest will also incorporate the more than 10,000 plants and more than 600 animals that currently live in The RainForest through additional enhancements.

Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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