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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release

**PHOTO OPPORTUNITY**

September 14, 2012

 

Scores of school kids to join zoo in breaking ground for major exhibit
‒ Phase one of tiger and sloth bear exhibit complex to open in 2013 ‒


Gigi Allianic, Caileigh Robertson
206.548.2550 | woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org

Woodland Park Zoo will break ground on phase one of tiger and sloth bear exhibit complex, which will feature Asian small-clawed otters and a kids’ nature play area. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

WHAT

Woodland Park Zoo will move one step closer to bringing Asian small-clawed otters, tigers and sloth bears to the zoo when it breaks ground for a 2-acre Asian tropical forest. Nearly a hundred school kids will join zoo donors, elected officials and special guests at a groundbreaking ceremony September 18.

Designed by Studio Hanson/Roberts, the id="mce_marker"9.6 million exhibit project marks the most ambitious zoo project since the award-winningTrail of Vines opened in 1996. The immersive scene will transform the zoo’s 60-year-old, outdated tiger and sloth bear exhibits into a spacious, naturalistic and state-of-the-art home for these endangered species.

The multispecies complex will open in two phases: phase one will feature Asian small-clawed otters and a kids’ nature play area opening in May 2013, and phase two will showcase endangered Malayan tigers and sloth bears.

The groundbreaking ceremony will feature music, Southeast Asian-themed food, a sloth bear behavioral enrichment demonstration and zoo activities for invited guests. 

WHEN

Tuesday, September 18, 10:00 a.m.-noon

WHERE

Construction site near sloth bear exhibit. Park in the zoo’s inner lot at the NORTH end where the admin. offices are located off N. 59th St. & Phinney Ave. N. Meet at the West Entrance for staff escort

WHO

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata; State Representative Jamie Pedersen; Chair, Woodland Park Zoo Board of Directors Stuart Williams; major Asian tropical forest donors Lisa Simonyi and Alan Osberg; Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen; students from Orcas School, West Woodland Elementary and North Seattle Fives Cooperative School; and Woodland Park Zoo Board of Directors, donors, members, visitors, staff and volunteers.

INFO

Modeled on the theme “Sharing the Forest: People are the Conservation Solution,” the new exhibit complex will empower and inspire visitors with up-close animal encounters, hands-on learning and links to meaningful conservation actions visitors can take to build a better future for wildlife.

The complex will use sustainable design to provide tigers, sloth bears, Asian small-clawed otters and other species representing the biodiversity of tropical Asia with a naturalistic, enriching environment that evokes lush forests and encourages natural behaviors. Tigers will stalk “prey” as they chase a lure line, jostle trees to retrieve snacks, nap under the roots of a tropical tree, splash in a shallow pool and care for cubs in a spacious exhibit built to accommodate multiple generations.

To bring the behind-the-scenes care of these animals into the forefront for zoo visitors, the exhibit design includes specialized training stations where keepers will interact one-on-one with tigers and sloth bears. These training presentations will get visitors closer to live predators than at any other exhibit at the zoo, and provide insight into how the zoo safely cares for such large and dangerous animals.

An immersive play area for children will allow young explorers to learn about the forest through joyful, full-bodied nature play—balancing on logs, crossing a wobble bridge, flying along a mini-zipline—all safely designed to stimulate mental and motor skill development while setting the scene of a tropical field site where boundaries between humans and wildlife collide.

With phase one funding completed, id="mce_marker"1 million remains to complete phase two. Through the zoo’s “Get Your Paws on Our New Exhibit” promotion, those who donate id="mce_marker",000 or more to the Asian Tropical Forest initiative will get their name on a permanent paw print featured prominently at the entrance to the new exhibit complex. To order a paw and to see artist renderings of the design plans, go to www.morewonder.org.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit www.zoo.org

 

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.

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Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.

 
 

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