Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Opens Asian Highlands Habitat

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Opens Asian Highlands Habitat

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Asian Highlands, the new destination at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, is now open to the public. The immersive addition is home to Amur and snow leopards, red panda and a new species to the zoo, takin.

The new destination includes larger and more complex habitats for the animals. Asian Highlands also will feature several glass viewing areas where guests can get nose to nose with some of their favorite animals.

The footprint of Asian Highlands totals 1.3 acres. The Amur and snow leopards will enjoy larger, more complex spaces, including four separate leopard habitats that give the animals an opportunity to rotate between interconnected areas. The areas offer climbing structures, elevated platforms, cooling caves and more. Later this summer, the Zoo’s new snow leopard cub triplets will move from their current home at the Primate, Cats and Aquatics building into a specially designed cub yard at Asian Highlands. In total, the leopard yards offer three times more space compared to the previous habitats.

The Zoo’s two red pandas will enjoy 25% more space and a radiant “deadfall” cooling tree, designed in-house by Cleveland Metroparks visual communications team, that will allow the animals to cool off, while still in public view.

The total project cost was $5.8 million and was jointly funded by Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society, which provided $3.8 million.

The Asian Lantern Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s will light up the zoo for five weeks this summer. The event will run Thursday through Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., beginning July 19. Guests will enjoy more than two dozen large-scale, colorful lantern installations placed throughout the zoo that will illuminate starting at dusk. Guests will be immersed in Asian culture, dining on Asian inspired cuisine, watching Asian performers on the Fifth Third Bank stage, and shopping an authentic marketplace sponsored by T-Mobile. Tickets for the Asian Lantern Festival can be purchased at


About the author

Angela Gartner is the current editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine. She previously served as editor for Cleveland/Akron/Lake-Geauga Family magazines. As a journalist, her features and columns have appeared in newspapers and other publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers as well as the Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. She loves watching her two sons play either at the ice rink or baseball field. Her favorite things are books, spending time finding new places around Northeast Ohio and hanging out with the family dog, a Scottish Terrier named Jagger.

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