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Extension of the Lion Exhibit

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 9:06am
lion_D Mattner.jpg yizi and amani 001.jpg

Myself, Jason (Horticulture) and Mark (Maintenance) have been very busy little bees over on the Big Cat Round, renovating an exhibit for our three African Lions. Unfortunately our Persian Leopard, Cubba, passed away but we wanted to put his exhibit to good use and give our Lions so more room to move.

This could have been a very large and involved job, but when this exhibit was built it was connected to the Lion exhibits so the sliding gates were still there, much to our relief. Mark and I got to work on removing boards that formed a wall between the exhibits, checking all the slides and locks work, checking the fencing and stabilising the platform at the front of the exhibit (lions weigh almost three times as much as Cubba did!).

Jason removed all the climbing structures (lions are not as agile climbers as leopards), provided scratching logs and cleaned up the plant life in the exhibit. I also got the fun job of cleaning out a connecting corridor between the exhibits that hadn’t been used in a while and was filled with more cobwebs and spiders than I would like to remember.

During the whole process we were watched by Amani, Yizi and Mujambi, which can be a little unnerving. As each board came down you could see the increasing curiosity of the three. After extensive checks by my supervisor and the rest of the Carnivore team it was time to let the lions in.

Amani and Yizi had the honour of being first in, racing through the gate as it was opened. For the first 20 minutes it was a competition to see who could smell the whole exhibit first. Surprisingly it took half an hour for one of them to realise they had a platform to explore. From the beginning I had my money on Yizi being the first one up there and sure enough with a single leap and a small climb up a well positioned log she was up there staring over the top of everyone. Not long after Yizi came down Amani was straight up to see what all the fuss was about...

And the fuss was the view of three Sumatran Tigers, which also gave the Tigers a big surprise! You can imagine when you are an 85 kilo tiger and have two 130 kilo lions staring at you, it can be very intimidating. But don’t worry, our Tigers are just as intrigued in the Lions are as the Lions are in them. Tuan can be regularly seen sitting in a spot that looks directly at the Lion exhibit.

The next day was Mujambis’ turn. As the girls did, he spent most of the time sniffing the exhibit. Mujambi is not as great a climber or jumper as the girls so the platform is a bit beyond his capabilities but he still gets the opportunity to watch the tigers through the bamboo. Mujambi does seem to enjoy having more room but will stay in the exhibit next door to the girls to watch every move they make (he is infatuated with them!).

So make sure you come down and see our Lions making use of their new found room, if you cant see both girls just make sure you look up to that platform.



hey there thats great to hear that the lions have got more room, they are my favourite animals :)
i was wondering how big is the actual enclosure now?
Posted By: Priyani Melville-Smith on Wednesday, June 02, 2010 10:40am
Hi Priyani, thank you for your question.

Before the addition there was the main exhibit and two yards, basically the addition is the same size as one of those yards. So now they have the three yards and the main exhibit. This addition has not only created more room for the Lions but is helping with our management of the animals, such as moving them for cleaning and maintenance. Hope this helps.. Arliah
Posted By: Arliah on Saturday, June 05, 2010 2:47pm
Firstly, That is sad to hear that Cubba passed away :-(
But it is great news that the lions have more room now, I have been wondering for a long time when they will get more space.. I can't wait to go back and check it out.. :-)
Posted By: Naomi on Sunday, July 11, 2010 6:12pm
Had a wonderful time at a recent visit to the zoo. Great to see the lions, I have a couple of questions about lions. Are they there permanently ?. They looked in tremendous shape are they from monarto? Do you think thier enclosure is big enough to keep them from going stir crazy? Please do not take my questions the wrong way as I have tremendous respect for the work that you do
Posted By: Sean on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 6:55pm
Thanks for your note with regard to our lions at Adelaide. All three are beautiful specimens and staff have worked wonders to keep their weight down, and provide regular enrichment items for physical and psychological stimulation.

We are currently undertaking master planning for Adelaide Zoo and future developments. Part of this process is deciding on species such as lions and whether or not such species are held at Adelaide, Monarto or both.

I hope that helps gives you some reassurance that we share your concerns and do have plans to address such challenges.

Glen Holland
Director Living Collections, Zoos SA
Posted By: Glen, Director Living Collections, Zoos SA on Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:57pm
I had considered whether I should leave a comment here considering how long ago this subject was posted but I would like to give a response in appreciation of the information you have provided Glen.

Ever since it was announced that the Adelaide Zoo would be adding pandas to their collection, I have hoped that it would mean more funds would become available for changes to be made for the other animals of the zoo. I am glad to hear that master planning is under way. The Adelaide Zoo deserves its reputation for exemplary animal care and I look forward to watching those changes unfold with great interest. Thank you for your information Glen. :)
Posted By: Mel on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:33pm
i was wondering why does the Monarto zoo in South Australia (near Adelaide), does not have any tigers?
Posted By: shannon on Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:54pm
Dear Shannon
Adelaide and Monarto Zoos are different Zoos with different themes and enclosures. Monarto Zoo displays large groups of animals that are from mainly Africa, hence the large Lion enclosure but no Tigers. Adelaide Zoo is a much smaller intimate Zoo displaying species from primarily forested habitat and very few species from Africa, instead displaying Tigers from South East Asian Rainforest. The African Lions in Adelaide Zoo will move elsewhere at some stage.
Curator Collection Development
Posted By: Gert Skipper on Monday, June 20, 2011 1:14pm

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