The London Zoo is breaking with tradition with a new kind of habitat - one that favors the animals.
With two of the world's 400 Sumatran tigers looking for a new home, the zoo hired architect Michael Kozdon, who told the Guardian that while in the past the focus was on creating an "iconic architectural statement," his focus for this project has been on the welfare of the animals while still trying to allow guests as close as possible.
One immediately visible difference to the tiger habitat and many of the zoo's other structures is the roof and the lack thereof. To remain true to the tigers' outdoors lifestyle, Kozdon decided instead to go with a fine net canopy far above the tigers' heads.
Furthermore, the habitat is large. In all, it covers almost 27,000 square feet and includes several mature trees for the tigers to climb, which they must do in order to retrieve their meals - an aspect designers took from the tiger's natural lifestyle.
Kozdon and his team weren't starting from scratch, however. As the Guardian reports, there was both a Victorian stork and ostrich house and a 1960s platform once used to watch sea lions that had to be modified. The former became the tiger den and the latter a platform for people to observe the tigers at play.
Besides incorporating aspects of the tigers' natural habitats, those overseeing the new construction were determined to make it suitable for mating. In fact, the two tigers - Jae Jae and Melati - were paired together for just that reason using what Robin Fitzgerald, the zoo's projects manager, told the Guardian is essentially "an online dating service for animals."
And while it may not be entirely, well, native to the wild, there are always zoo handlers nearby to offer one last luxury for Jae Jae - Old Spice, which they spray around the habitat. The male tiger, as it turns out, is perhaps the product's biggest fan.
© 2021 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.