Big Cats Exhibit Opens at Philly Zoo

$20 million, state-of-the-art facility features various habitats for different species.

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Zoo Cat ExhibitA $20 million, naturalistic, state-of-the-art big cat exhibit, with a 12-foot waterfall at its center,  opened Thursday, May 25 at the Philadelphia Zoo.

There are seven floor-to-ceiling glass windows within the various feline exhibits, according to Andy Baker, the zoos senior vice president for animal programs. The windows are all three layers of glass, each layer a half-inch thick, laminated together, Baker said.

A moat once divided the zoos lions from visitors, now the pride lives in an area planted to look like an African savannah, with fake termite hills equipped with heaters for when the weather gets cold.

The other habitats are a Central American rain forest, complete with Maya Indian carvings, for jaguars; a Siberian forest for Amur tigers and Amur leopards; and a Pennsylvania woodlands setting for the pumas, which consists of three cubs orphaned when their mother was killed in South Dakota.

The collection includes: Dimitri, 11, an Amur tiger; Amur leopards Krepke, 9, and Katia, 8; snow leopards Amga, Panga and Gala, all nearly a year old; and an 11-month-old black jaguar cub. The zoo plans to hold a naming contest for the jaguar in June.

All came from other zoos except the pumas.

The exhibits include connecting tunnels, catwalks and mesh panels. 

Posted: May 26, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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Big Cats Exhibit Opens at Philly Zoo

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debby    oxford, NC

9/11/2007 4:05:40 AM

those cats are so beauitful!

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