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Who to Expect at The Rainforest

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JCU chapter.

If you ever want your Fun Fact about Yourself to be: “I’ve danced in the same place as a Bornean orangutan,” this Friday is your chance to accomplish that. This year’s Homecoming Dance will be in The Rainforest, a part of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. In two levels, you can see over 600 animals and 10,000 plants from Asia, Africa, and South America. Other features to check out are the 25-foot waterfall and tropical rainstorm, complete with thunder and lightning effects every twelve minutes. When you’re not dancing your tail feathers off, take a look at the other animals in the place. 

Reptile Exhibit

Panther Chameleon

Even if Ted from How I Met Your Mother pronounces this word a little funny, he still knows what he’s talking about. This color-changing animal is found in the lower level of The Rainforest with other reptiles. Their eyes are mostly covered with their skin, but there is a small hole in the center so they can see. Even better, their eyes move independently so they can look in two different places simultaneously. Imagine multi-tasking with that superpower. 

Madagascan Spider Tortoise 

Tortoises pretty much walk, eat, and sleep. This guy is also found on the lower level, so be sure to explore the whole place. Tortoises like heat all the way up to 80 degrees, which sounds really good in this weather. Technically, these animals are critically endangered. NOT GOOD. When you love what you see, take a moment to research how to protect these animals outside of a caged zoo. 

Dwarf Crocodile

Though this is considered a “dwarf,” it can still get up to over six feet in length. I suppose that’s small enough, considering other crocs can be close to fifteen feet. Since these animals are nocturnal and inherently solitary, it might not be moving much, but he’s cool to look at. If you can’t find him anywhere on land, try looking in the water or at the other crocodile exhibits around The Rainforest.   

Aviary and Surrounding Exhibits

Two-Toed Sloth

Look at how cute! You cannot miss this! Because of their super flexible neck, they can reach all the way around without ever moving. Their metabolism is super slow, which is what makes them so lethargic. They only grow to be about two feet long and weight up to fifteen pounds. Can we please take them back to campus with us? 

Scarlet Macaw

I mean, talk about colorful. This parrot has the most vivid colors of all, including red, blue, green, and yellow. It’s also the biggest Mexican parrot, so there is plenty of space for you to really see those colors. Fun Fact: the tail is actually longer than the body. It’s mostly red, but the striking blue makes another appearance at the very tip. Ten points are awarded to the person who can spot a dress more colorful than this.   

Amphibian Exhibit

Red Eyed Tree Frog

Don’t worry, everyone’s favorite frog is at The Rainforest. This frog is special because the colors are unlike any other frog. The feet are orange, the eyes are red, and the rest of the body is covered in greens and blues. Even though they only grow to be about two and a half inches, females still tend to be larger than males. These frogs know what’s up. 

Blue Poison-Dart Frog

According to The Rainforest website, this frog attracts a lot of visitors with its bright color. This frog has no teeth, so they really only eat small insects like ants. Along with the bright blue color, the black dots on its skin actually warn predators that this two-inch frog is full of poison. Predators are easily paralyzed, sometimes killed, by the poison. Maybe only sometimes the best things come in small packages. 

Brazilian Ocelot Exhibit


A remarkably beautiful cat, the ocelot is no lion or pet kitten. These cats are actually really good swimmers, so they can survive in flooded areas. Their eyesight is so strong that they can easily hunt their prey at night. They’re typically stationed in territories, so once they become familiar with a place, they don’t move much. This exhibit is part of a plan to protect the endangered species, so be sure to stop by this exhibit and show some support. 

Bornean Streamside

Oriental Small Clawed Otter

Or you can just spend the whole night here.

The Rainforest also offers exhibits for multiple species of monkeys, insects, bats, and more. If you love what you see, do the world and yourself a favor by getting involved with saving endangered animals!

Have a wild time at Homecoming, but BE SAFE AND RESPECT THE ANIMALS! We’ll see you there!