We’re here at the Rainforest at the Cleveland
Metroparks Zoo. I want to show you some of the animals, plants and exhibits you can see
when you come here. I think it’s fitting to start with the Orangutans since they have
the central exhibit here at the Rainforest. It’s the part right under the geodesic dome.
There’s a family of four orangutans and they’re usually in a pretty good mood when they wake
up. It’s nice to get here early if you can. They enjoy simple things like boxes filled
with paper wrap, a burlap sack, a nice sturdy branch and a healthy diet of vegetables. You
can’t go wrong spending some time watching these primates play around. As for another
playful species, it’s the Asian Small-Clawed Otter. They know when it’s time to eat, and
they’re never late for dinner. This group here is one of two families of otters that
rotates into this habitat. They spend a lot of their day just playing in the water. Something
cool you’ll learn is that they have at least 12 distinct calls in their vocabulary. If
you have kids, it’s a good bet they’ll like seeing the otters. Number Three is the Clouded
Leopard. This animal is actually rare to find in zoos and extremely hard to see in the wild.
His name is Ryker and he is really a sight to see. Look at the spots on his fur and the
way he holds out his tail to help balance. He’s still young and when he gets full grown,
he could be between 40 and 50 pounds. Clouded leopards spend most of their time in the trees
in the forests of Southeast Asia. You can find Ryker on the upper level here at the
Rainforest. Now for some underwater fun. It’s not a crocodile. These are gharial. If you
get a chance to be here when the keepers come for the feeding, you’ll notice they have color
coded rods. The gharial are trained to come to their color and get their meal. In this
case it’s fish. Once they’re fed, they take a nap on the dry ground for a while! And we
can’t forget about the turtles. They get to eat sweet potato. Number Five is the Porcupine.
The orangutans aren’t the only ones who get to play with boxes. You can see the spines
sticking out of their backs that are more than a foot long. Any time they’re excited,
the spines stick out like you’re seeing here. That’s an intimidating sight for potential
predators. One of the cool things about the porcupine exhibit that I really like is the
simulated thunderstorm. There’s thunder, lightning and rain every 12 minutes or so. And they
pump out a bunch of fog. It’s really cool. There’s plenty more to see around the Rainforest
whether it’s dart frogs, anteaters, capybara or golden lion tamarins. This is a great escape
on a rainy or cold day here in Cleveland.