Cleveland’s Own: Cleveland Zoological Society

In this month’s edition of Fox 8’s Cleveland’s Own, Matt Kaulig talks with Sarah Crupi, the Executive Director of the Cleveland Zoological Society. Matt also teams up with Deputy Executive Director, Director of Animal and Veterinary Programs, And Kornak to help feed Forest, a 2,700-pound black rhino.

The Cleveland Zoological Society works behind the scenes as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s independent nonprofit and advocate partner. Through donations and funds, they provide the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s animal care and welfare initiatives, zoo education and awareness, and animal conservation efforts around the globe. 

Each year, the Zoological Society provides the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo $3 million for programs and operating support while also raising money for capital improvement projects across the zoo. This funding is a blend of generous gifts for current use and long-term support. Since 1998, the Zoological Society has provided $30 million in funding for the zoo’s capital improvement projects.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has become nationally recognized as one of the best zoos in the United States. And, closer to home, the zoo is a cherished community gem that individuals and families from all walks of life have come to know and love. As the zoo’s nonprofit partner, the Cleveland Zoological Society raises money to help offset the cost to feed and care for the zoo’s many species each year.

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own is about good people doing good work in Northeast Ohio. WJW Fox 8 and Kaulig Charitable Giving Programs team up to celebrate Cleveland’s Own by highlighting the best of our region in a big way! Each month, Fox 8’s Stefani Schaefer and Kaulig Companies and LeafFilter Executive Chairman Matt Kaulig, share a story about a person or organization from Northeast Ohio doing good work.

To see more Cleveland’s Own stories, or to nominate an organization to be featured, visit Kaulig Giving’s Cleveland’s Own page.

Read the Transcript

Stefani Schaefer

Each month, Kaulig giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations and charities making a difference in northeast Ohio. It's time to celebrate Cleveland's Own.

Matt Kaulig

Hi, I'm Matt Kaulig, this month on Cleveland's Own, we hear from the Cleveland Zoological Society. This nonprofit partner supports Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, providing philanthropic funding and support for the zoo's animal care initiatives, education programs, campus improvements, and wildlife conservation efforts. Let's hear from Sarah and Andi!

Sarah Crupi

The Cleveland Zoo Society shares a mission with Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which officially is, "we create compelling experiences that connect people with wildlife and inspire personal responsibility for conserving the natural world."

Andi Kornak

This partnership is such an impactful partnership for our community. The society really is a philanthropy arm, and they help us meet our mission through raising funding to help support our three mission-based tiers of education, conservation, and animal welfare. So it is really great and impactful to not only our community, but the animals in our care.

Sarah Crupi

So Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, partners with more than a dozen conservation partners throughout the world to help secure a future for wildlife. And we provide almost half a million dollars of funding a year towards those goals. It's so important for the conservation of wild animals and wild places to have this connection. And the zoo and Zoo Society really are the front door to connecting our community to the impact of that conservation. One of the most exciting things that we raise money for is capital improvement projects. So later today, Matt will get a glimpse at the Daniel Maltz Rhino Reserve. Our donors 100% funded that new space for our rhino herd.

Andi Kornak

Cleveland Zoological Society not only made this exhibit possible, but several of our most recent exhibits. And this exhibit was made possible through first, the collaborative effort to identify areas that need improvement that would give not only great impact to our animal
welfare, but give great impact to our community that comes to enjoy our animals here.

Sarah Crupi

This new habitat is a perfect example of how we really work to listen to donors and to build relationships.We knew that there were some individuals that really were passionate about rhinos in Cleveland and rhino conservation in Africa. And that, frankly, is the dream ending, right? We really want people who care about a species and care about the zoo to be able to give to something they love and then to see the results.

Andi Kornak

And this big guy is Forest!

Matt Kaulig

What's up, Forest? How big is he?

Andi Kornak

Forest is a male black rhino and he's about 18 years old. And right now, the last weigh in was about 2,700 pounds. We're going to feed him in some pear brows. You can see he's waiting for us. And when we feed him. We're going to hold on to the end of the branch and we'll just poke it slightly through like this. And you're going to see that upper lip pull that brows in. Now, don't try to hang on to try to be stronger than you are!

Matt Kaulig

I would imagine he's way stronger than I am!

Andi Kornak

Maybe a little bit!

Matt Kaulig

Here you go, buddy. That looks delicious. So how can Fox 8 viewers help?

Sarah Crupi

The number one thing anybody can do is visit the zoo and buy a membership. The Zoo Society runs the membership program, and that is a tax-deductible philanthropic donation. So a little bit of every membership goes to help conservation in the wild and animal care in Cleveland. And then we also would love for you to donate. We have donations all year round for a variety of programs. So I would love the viewers to know that this is a place that really has an incredible experience, and it needs philanthropic health.

Matt Kaulig

To learn more about the Cleveland Zoological Society and how you can support wildlife in our own backyard, visit Clevelandzoosociety.org. Then visit Kauliggiving.com/clevelandsown to nominate a person or organization for an upcoming episode of Cleveland's Own. Make It a Great day!