London Zoo in Regent’s Park is one of the most famous zoos of the world and it has over 12,000 animals. The Sumatran tigers at this zoo got a new five star £3.6 million home on 22nd March 2013. This new home is five times the size of their previous home. The needs of the tigers were paramount considerations in designing the new Tiger Territory space in which trees, a custom-built pool and feeding poles have been provided for the use of the tigers and to make them feel at home in their new habitat. The enclosure for the tigers has been provided with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to enable visitors to see the tigers from close quarters, while finding out about the efforts that the authorities are making to conserve and protect the impressive felines.
The zoo holds daily ‘Meet the Animals’ shows so that visitors can know more about the tigers from their keepers. The important areas of the zoo are the Aquarium, Gorilla Kingdom, the Clore Rainforest Lookout, Penguin Pool, Butterfly Paradise and the Blackburn Pavilion where rare and beautiful creatures can be seen along with more than fifty species of birds.
Tiger Territory covers an area of 2,500 sqm and it has several mature plane trees and tall wooden feeding poles that are fitted with pulleys that can hoist large pieces of meat. As such the tigers will first have to climb before they can enjoy their lunch, which is in accordance with their intrinsic predatory nature. Being avid climbers, tigers like to have a view of their terrain from an elevated point, and this is what has been provided to them so that they can have a fantastic view over Regent’s Park. While designing the Tiger Territory, care had to be taken to incorporate several existing buildings in the redevelopment. Since the zoo has only a limited area of 36 acres in one of the most protected settings of London, there was need to modify the existing Victorian stork, ostrich house, and a 1960s sea lion viewing platform, which had been off-limits to visitors for 30 years.
The new enclosure is five times larger than the earlier one which was made in the 1970s.