Posted: September 24, 2015
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo officially broke ground today for Tiger Passage, a new, state of the art home for its two Amur (Siberian) tigers - slated for a summer 2016 opening.
The new exhibit will be five times the size of the old moated, grotto-style exhibits and feature four different interconnected habitat areas for the tigers to roam in, with two of the connections being via trails that pass right over the heads of visitors on the ground. The new $4.1 million exhibit will occupy the same footprint as the previous exhibit, but also expand outward to increase the size and complexity of the space available to the tigers. The Cleveland Zoological Society has committed $2.5 million toward the exhibit's cost.
The exhibit areas will feature climbing poles, meadows, shallow streams and soaking pools for the tigers to cool off in. The new Tiger Passage habitats will also allow the tigers to have outdoor access overnight as well. Click here for an animated first-person rendering of Tiger Passage!
"We're really excited to begin the next phase of the Zoo's Master Plan and carryover the design concepts we started with African Elephant Crossing to our new tiger habitat," said Executive Zoo Director Chris Kuhar. "The main idea was to design a space that provides more space and choices for the animals in terms of how they spend their time to positively impact their welfare. This design will benefit the animals while also providing a more immersive experience for our guests." Click here for an animated first-person rendering of Tiger Passage!
As they wind around the paths of Tiger Passage, guests will be immersed in a Russian forest and learn about the plight of the world's largest cat in the wild. Amur tigers are classified as "endangered" in the wild by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This particular subspecies of tiger is found almost exclusively in the Amur River region of Russia, with some individuals straying over into China. The IUCN estimates there are fewer than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, but currently classifies the population in Russia as stable.
The Zoo currently has two tigers, a male, Klechka, 12, who was born at the Toledo Zoo, and Dasha, 14, a female, who was born here in Cleveland in 2001. They will remain in an off exhibit area at the Zoo while Tiger Passage is under construction.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $13.25 per person, $12.25 for seniors ages 62 and older, $9.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.