Denver Zoo’s New Tiger Exhibit Grand Opening
posted by: Amber Johnson
Now, you can hear Nikita, Thimbu and Nikolai roar…even closer!
Denver Zoo is excited to open its new tiger exhibit, The Edge, to the public on March 17. This expansive habitat will bring guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s Amur tigers and offer several unique ways to see these magnificent animals from multiple perspectives. Located on nearly an acre on the southeastern edge of the Zoo, The Edge nearly doubles the outdoor space the tigers enjoyed at the Zoo’s Felines Exhibit.
“We are so excited to present The Edge to our guests,” said Shannon Block, President/CEO of Denver Zoo. “This exhibit is made to draw them in and let them experience these amazing animals like never before. We hope they leave awe-inspired, with a new appreciation for tigers.”
Outdoor Space Has Almost Doubled
The Edge will bring guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s tigers. As guests approach the exhibit they will see the tiger yards a little more than an arm’s length away, at ground level. Elevated lofts will allow tigers to stride 12 feet over visitors’ heads. The inside of the exhibit’s guest viewing area will feature a perforated wall with small holes forming an artistic design. As guests walk closer, the design will appear to fade away as they discover those holes lead directly into the yards, six exposed inches from the large cats. Just out front of the exhibit will be a small, multi-level seating area to provide guests different perspectives to see the cats as zookeepers work with them in daily demonstrations. In addition, a 3,000-square-foot building in the back of the exhibit will allow zookeepers and veterinarians to provide outstanding animal care with plenty of room to administer procedures, easily move cats back and forth, and train them to assist in their own health care.
This new habitat will nearly double the tigers’ outdoor space from their current home in the Felines Exhibit. Pine trees, that are 120-years-old, are scattered in and around the habitat and will provide shade. Large pools will also keep them cool and let them splash and play for enrichment. Through the exhibit’s engaging design, guests can appreciate the tigers’ incredible physicality and unique disposition.
Why ‘The Edge?’
The exhibit is called The Edge for a few reasons. First, to illustrate just how close visitors can get to the tigers. Second, to reflect the appearance of the new exhibit. While the exterior of the exhibit showcases an industrial design, the yards themselves look as though they are on the edge of a forest. Finally, to serve as a reminder to guests that the species is on the edge of extinction, but with continued conservation efforts, they can be saved.
Amur tigers are the largest living members of the cat family. Adult males can grow up to 12-feet-long, from nose to tail, and weigh more than 450 pounds. Adult females can grow up to 9-feet-long and weigh up to 370 pounds. Amur tigers also have longer, thicker fur than other tiger species due to the harsh winter conditions in their native habitat.
Amur tigers are classified as endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimated population of less than 400 individuals remaining in the wild. These animals were once called Siberian tigers because they were found throughout Siberia. They are now almost completely confined to the Far East portion of Asia, along the Amur River, and because of this they are now commonly called Amur tigers. In addition to habitat loss, the biggest threats to these tigers comes from poaching, both for their fur and their other body parts which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Related Upcoming Events:
March 10-16: Member Preview Week of The Edge
March 17-24: Grand Opening for The Edge
March 25-April 9 Spring Break: Journey to Asia