Seasonal Special Happenings

Party with the Elephants

When: Thu., May 5 2011

This morning marks the official opening of African Elephant Crossing, the Metroparks Zoo's 5-acre, $25-million home to gal-pal pachyderms Martika, Moshi, Jo, and Shenga, and their 13,000-pound bull buddy, Willy. More than 30 months in the making, the expansive exhibit has a herd of unique features, including a visitors' center, an African village, three ranges, and the Crossing Gate, which controls the movements of both the elephants and visitors. As for the five critters, they have a variety of habitats to choose from, including woods, a mud wallow, sand pits, and swim areas. The party begins this morning at 10, with a rousing performance by the James Rhodes High School Marching Band, and continues through Sunday — Mother's Day — when all moms will be treated to free admission. (See the May 8 listings for Mother's Day details.) In between, the fun includes African drummers, special "meet the keepers" programs, and a visit from Radio Disney. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $11 for adults and $8 for kids 2 to 11. For a full schedule of events, visit clemetzoo.com or call 216-661-6500. The zoo is at 3900 Wildlife Way. — Cicora

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