It's a countdown to The RainForest 20th Anniversary celebration! Each day from November 1 to November 19 we'll post a fun fact and photo from The RainForest.
Then join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 17-19 for a three-day celebration with activities, giveaways, animal enrichment demonstrations, crafts, music, meet the keeper sessions and on Monday, November 19, special guest Radio Disney and free admission to The RainForest.
Countdown to The RainForest 20th Anniversary celebration:
Thursday, November 1:
Did you know? The RainForest opened on November 19, 1992. Here's a picture of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Director, Steve Taylor, with a model of The RainForest.
Friday, November 2:
Did you know? The RainForest is home to more than 10,000 plants and 600 animals from Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Picture: Red Eyed Tree Frog
Saturday, November 3:
Did you know? The RainForest cost $30 million to build and eight years to plan.
Sunday, November 4:
Did you know? The RainForest is two acres of tropical fun!
Monday, November 5:
Did you know? The jungle cascade waterfall just inside The RainForest’s main entrance spills 600 gallons of water per minute down its 25-foot fall. That’s 240 times the amount that comes out of the average home showerhead. But unlike your shower at home, the waterfall uses the same water over and over by pumping the water collected at the bottom back to the top for re-use.
Tuesday, November 6:
Did you know? The RainForest is a balmy 80° year round.
Pictured: Emerald Tree Boa
Wednesday, November 7:
Did you know? Five animals from opening day in 1992 still live in The Rainforest: Riva, a female scarlet macaw estimated to be about 28 years old, Thaddeus, the prehensile-tailed skink, and three roseate spoonbill siblings who hatched out of the same clutch.
Pictured: Prehensile-tailed Skink, Scarlet Macaw, Roseate Spoonbill
Thursday, November 8:
Did you know? The five animals mentioned in yesterday’s post aren’t the only ones who have become fixtures in the building. Two dedicated animal keepers, Deb Copeland and Steve Kinczel, have been taking care of the animals in The RainForest since it opened.
Pictured: Small Clawed Otter
Friday, November 9:
Did you know? Sounds of thunder draw visitors to The RainForest’s Tropical Rainstorm occurring every 12 minutes complete with lightning, thunder and rain.
Saturday, November 10:
Did you know? The RainForest’s researcher’s hut teaches messages of education, exploration and conservation.
Sunday, November 11:
Did you know? The RainForest’s 30-foot kapok tree is more than 50 feet in circumference and houses a spiral staircase.
Monday, November 12:
Did you know? The two-story RainForest is designed to give visitors an understanding of the importance of the world’s rainforests in Asia, Africa and the Americas and why conserving them is vital to the earth’s ecosystems. In the last 20 years, the donation boxes spread throughout The RainForest have collected $300,860 for conservation efforts.
Tuesday, November 13:
Did you know? Rainforests generate 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen and are home to more than half of the plant and animal species, yet they cover just 6 percent of the earth’s surface.
Pictured: Golden Lion Tamarin
Wednesday, November 14:
Did you know? More than 50 specimens of 15 different bird species fly freely overhead in The RainForest’s free-flight, indoor aviary.
Pictured: Wattled Jacana
Thursday, November 15:
Ever wonder how the Zoo cleans the giant glass dome, home to our Bornean orangutans, on top of The RainForest? Well, the truth is, the Zoo doesn’t -- we leave that job to the professionals! Twice a year, trained building window cleaners carefully climb a special ladder that is mounted to the dome, and capable of rolling all the way around it, to clean the windows.
Pictured: Bornean Orangutan
Friday, November 16:
Did you know a baby porcupine is called a porcupette? (Just about the cutest baby name in the animal kingdom!) Baby porcupines are born with soft quills, which mom no doubt appreciates, which gradually harden within just a few days. The first animal born in The RainForest was a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine. This animal is still part of The RainForest and can be found on the second floor in a mixed species exhibit with two-toed sloths and agouti.
Pictured: Prehensile-tailed porcupine
Saturday, November 17:
The first animal to move into The RainForest was an American crocodile. While that species is no longer on exhibit, one of its crocodilian cousins, the critically endangered gharial, can now be found on the first floor. The Zoo’s gharial exhibit has underwater viewing where the turtles it shares its space with can also be seen.
Sunday, November 18:
Did you know? The Zoo’s newest exhibit, African Elephant Crossing, wasn’t the first capital improvement project to use the framework of an existing structure as the foundation to build something new. The RainForest was built on the shell of a former manufacturing facility that was home to the Fanner Co.
Monday, November 19:
Did you know? The opening of The RainForest transformed the Zoo into a true year-round experience, and the Zoo’s attendance numbers prove it! Starting in 1993, the first full-year the exhibit was open, the Zoo has averaged more than 1.2 million visitors a year. From 1993 through today the Zoo has welcomed a total of more than 24.7 million visitors!
The RainForest has been the site of many weddings and special events over the years, but the very first wedding reception held inside was for none other than Zoo Director Steve Taylor and his wife, Sarah, in May 1992.
Happy 20th Anniversary to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's The RainForest!