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San Francisco’s rainforest dome finally reopens in Golden Gate Park

A big clear glass dome contains plants and metal walkways.
The 90-foot glass dome housing the Osher Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences was under repair and cleaning for three months prior to its reopening Saturday. | Source: Gayle Laird/California Academy of Sciences

A beloved rainforest exhibit at San Francisco's Academy of Sciences is finally open again after a three-month closure for maintenance and cleaning, the museum said.

The Osher Rainforest exhibit opened in 2008, and its 1,600 tropical animals are contained by a glass dome that stands four stories tall and 90 feet across.

The three-month closure was needed to clean the exhibit and make repairs to the dome. It required all of the animals—except for the tropical fish—to be temporarily relocated.

Two blue and yellow macaws sitting on a branch.
A blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) glides through the misty, balmy rainforest air. | Source: Gayle Laird/California Academy of Sciences

The hot, humid conditions inside the dome, which remain a constant 82-85 degrees, with humidity at 75% or above, put a strain on the dome itself and necessitated the repairs, which included fixing water leaks and deep cleaning the dome's glass, according to a museum blog post announcing the reopening.

An employee peers through a science exhibit containing trees and branches.
Tim Wong, an aquatic biologist at the Academy, reintroduces some jungle nymphs (Heteropteryx dilatata) to their new enclosure. | Source: Gayle Laird/California Academy of Sciences

“Roughly 90% of the rainforest’s exhibits were hollowed out, bleached, sanitized, and given new substrate,” said Kelsey Paulling, an Academy biologist. “I’m so happy to see Osher Rainforest come back to life, and to get to put the animals back in their homes.

Two blue and yellow macaws sit on a wood branch.
Blue and yellow macaws are seen at the California Academy of Sciences on Nov. 22, 2022. The birds are one of 1,600 animals in the museum's Osher Rainforest exhibit. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tropical fauna including Panamanian golden frogs, blue-morpho butterflies, and blue-and-yellow macaws call the exhibit home.

The exhibit reopened Saturday, and is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. The exhibit is also open Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to visitors 21 years or older with a valid ID as part of its "Nightlife" hours for adult visitors.

Tickets are available online at

Garrett Leahy can be reached at