ZSL London Zoo Gets Set to House Sumatran Tiger
UK- London | Sep 26 2012 | (22:55:30 - EDT)
Base Structures is set to build a stunning new enclosure for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, offering millions of visitors the opportunity to come eye to eye with this big cat in an architect designed setting.
The new exhibit will be five times the size of the Zoo's current tiger enclosure (2,500 sqm) and is part of ZSL London Zoo's £3.6M program to establish a major tiger conservation headquarters.
Visualized by Michael Kozdon of Wharmby Kozdon Architects in conjunction with ZSL's team of tiger keepers, conservationists and experts, Base Structures was responsible for the design and engineering of the enclosure, which constitutes a massive redevelopment project.
17m high, it will encompass a stainless steel net with architectural form supported by a series of masts. The steel mesh will connect down to timber and glass allowing visitors to come face to face with these rare and stunning animals.
A segregation net supports a carefully planned breeding program. The enclosure also comprises a free forming dynamic roof to encompass the tiger's tall climbing trees and allow the tigers freedom to indulge their natural jumping ability of up to 5M high.
The structure has been designed and engineered with thick 3mm mesh to withstand both the impact of its inhabitants at full pelt (an average tiger exerts 3.5 tonnes per square inch) and 100 year event weather conditions including snow loads.
"We're proud to be a major part of this high profile conservation project," said Andy Traynor, Head of Installations at Base Structures. "We have been involved with a lot of zoos and it's great to be able to apply our experience to help save this rare and special breed of tigers."
The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the remaining five tiger subspecies. It has lived exclusively, for over a million years on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Sadly, due to poaching, habitat loss and human conflict, it is estimated that just 300 Sumatran tigers remain, which puts it at high risk of extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.
The contract follows a long track record for Base Structures building zoo enclosures throughout Europe including Living Coast, Bristol Zoo, Twycross Zoo and Le Pal, France.
Working around the world to try to reverse the fate of the Sumatran tiger, Tiger Territory will enable ZSL to breed tigers at ZSL London Zoo and learn more about these elusive animals to apply to its field conservation projects.
The new enclosure will open in 2013.
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