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The RainForest to reopen March 2 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with new animals, upgrades and COVID-19 precautions: See the changes

Some of the COVID-19 safety measures include required facial coverings for guests 6 and older, capacity limits and social distancing.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published on Feb. 18, 2021.

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The RainForest is set to reopen to the general public at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on March 2 after undergoing improvements, which include the replacement of its iconic geodesic dome.

“The new 40-foot-tall dome that sits above the popular orangutan habitat uses a state-of-the-art material, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), to improve lightning and energy efficiency,” zoo officials said Thursday morning. “The multilayer ETFE technology replicates the natural biomes of Southeast Asia where orangutans live. In addition, the new dome allowed for upgrades to the vertical space and climbing areas for orangutans.”

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The RainForest’s reopening also comes with COVID-19 precautions, which include reduced capacity and the use of a one-way directional flow.

“Floor decals will reinforce social distancing guidelines, elevators will be limited to one family group at a time and restrooms will be available,” zoo officials said. “Facial coverings at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest are required for those 6 years of age and older, with the exception of individuals with a qualifying medical condition.”

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Guests can also expect to see the following new animals that have arrived at zoo’s RainForest in recent months:

  • A female binturong, also known as a bearcat, one of only two of the world’s carnivores that has a prehensile tail. Fun fact: Binturongs give off an odor that smells like popcorn!
  • Several new bird species including northern orioles, blue-headed doves, golden-crested mynahs and a red-crested turaco.
  • An expanded otter family: Female Asian small-clawed otter, Bitzy, gave birth to two female otter pups, Munti and Magana, last fall.
  • Panamanian golden frog.

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