While people are getting excited about the holiday season and preparing for the season of perpetual hope and gift giving, a pride of tigers is one step closer to having a new home. The Cleveland Zoo Society received a $2.1 Million dollars toward a new Amur tiger enclosure project. The project will cost over $4 million dollars and construction started this past September. The new enclosure will be named the Rosebrough Tiger Passage after the generous benefactors Walt and Carol Rosebrough and is expected to open sometime in 2016. The gift is the single largest gift in the 50-year history of the society. The nonprofit society also raised about half of the $25 million required to build the zoo’s Elephant crossing exhibit.
Rendering and and aerial map for the new Rosebrough Tiger Passage to open in 2016. (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo)
The exhibit will include meadows, streams, and soaking pools. Tigers will be protected from the elements and even have climbing poles and perches. Guest will learn about the Amur tigers and the work conservationists are doing in Russia to protect these cats. Amur (Siberian) tigers are endangered and there are only about 500 left in the wild. The live in the Amur River Region in eastern Russia and can live to be upwards of 20 years-old in captivity.
“We want to be able to create an inspiring conservation message that gets people excited and wanting to help. That’s really what we’re all about is creating action and we think this exhibit is going to be a great way to do that,”
– Dr. Chris Kuhar, zoo executive director
The exhibit has a groundbreaking design that allows the tigers to cross over-head bridges among four habitats. This design will give guests a unique experience. The new connecting habitats will be 5 times the size of the current 1960’s designed enclosure, which was a relic mote and grotto-style exhibit.