In 2016, the Denver Zoo will be opening several new experiences, most notably “The Edge,” a brand-new $2.5 million exhibit that will immerse guests into the world of the Amur, or Siberian, tiger, which is the largest subspecies of tiger in existence.
The Edge is a one-acre exhibit that is designed to both mimic the natural living environment of Siberian tigers and provide the zoo’s tigers with more space to explore. Throughout the exhibit, zoo designers have placed a dozen pine trees, which are found all throughout Siberia. The trees will serve as enrichment devices for the tigers living in The Edge, and they will also make the exhibit resemble the edge of a forest, which is the inspiration for the title of the expansion. Another unique feature of the exhibit will be several pools that will allow the tigers to cool off on warm summer days. The new exhibit will be 50% larger than the tiger’s former space at the Denver Zoo.
One of the most intriguing features of the exhibit will be the series of overhead trails that link different yards of the exhibit. As guests walk on the sidewalks through The Edge, they will be able to look up 12 feet in the air at tigers pacing above them. The Edge will also include spectator seating areas from which zoo guests will be able to watch daily training and husbandry demonstrations between trainers and tigers.
Upon its opening this summer in late June, The Edge will be home to three adult Siberian tigers. Two of the tigers, brothers Nikolai and Thimbu, have been residents at the zoo since their birth in 2010. The third tiger on exhibit will be an adult female, Nikita, who will be arriving soon from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Also noteworthy at the Denver Zoo will be the opening of the Washed Ashore traveling exhibit. Set to open to guests in the fall, Washed Ashore is a set of 15 larger-than-life sculptures of sea creatures, but what makes these sculptures unique is that they are all made of trash collected from our world’s oceans. Each species depicted is one being directly impacted by the severe pollution of our global oceans, and each sculpture is accompanied by a unique message about marine pollution. Guests will be able to observe the sculptures from September 2016 through January 2017.