CLEVELAND - Children from Douglas MacArthur Leadership Academy and the Cleveland Metroparks Adventure Club could not be happier this morning as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo officially opened the new Circle of Wildlife Carousel.
The carousel features 64 beautiful, hand-carved animals carved by Mansfield, Ohio-based Carousel Works. The animals, which are all featured in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, are grouped together on the carousel according to their natural environment. Each creature was hand carved from basswood and then hand painted.
The carousel sits as the centerpiece of the $2.7 million renovation project of the former Savanna Ridge area, where the Birds of the World building sat from 1950 until 2004. The project was largely funded by money raised by the Cleveland Zoological Society through a series of private donations.
Next to the carousel is the Nature Discovery Ridge play zone that allows kids to climb, explore and have fun reconnecting with nature.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the carousel and the whole Circle of Wildlife are," said Executive Zoo Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. "The carousel adds an entirely new dimension to the guest experience the zoo offers. We know it will be the perfect place for family members of multiple generations to visit and create memories for years to come."
If you were unable to make it out to the carousel today, don't sweat it, the makers assure that their hand-crafted merry-go-round should stand for the next century, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to snag a ride on the back of one of your favorite animals.
Single ride tickets for the carousel are $3 and $2.50 for Zoo Society members. All day ride passes are available for $8 or $6 for members.