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Eastern black rhino habitat will undergo major expansion, replacing former Monkey Island exhibit

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Posted at 11:34 AM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 11:34:24-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced Thursday that it’s replacing the former Monkey Island exhibit to make room for an expanded rhino habitat in the zoo’s African Savanna destination, according to a release.

The expansion, funded jointly by the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cleveland Zoological Society, will include an additional outdoor rhino yard that will more than double the size of the zoo’s habitat for the Eastern Black Rhino herd of five.

"Cleveland Metroparks has had tremendous success in breeding critically endangered Eastern black rhinos including the birth of two rhino calves in 2018,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar, PhD. “This expansion will better equip us to care for our rhino herd as we work to protect one of the world’s most critically endangered species.”

An expanded indoor rhino barn will include overhead shade and misting areas, a mud wallow, vegetation and rubbing posts.

There will also be a new and larger viewing deck accessible to guests.

The expansion replaces Monkey Island, an exhibit that first opened in 1934. As years went on, its use changed over time as animal care practices evolved. The Colobus monkeys formerly housed on Monkey Island now reside in a nearby habitat that offers them more space to climb.

Construction for the habitat will begin in the fall 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2020.

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