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lion enclosure

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by tasha, 20 May 2010.

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  1. tasha

    tasha Member

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    hi im a student and i am doing an assignment where i have to design my own enclosure and i was wondering what is the best material to create an enclosure with, which is safe for the lion and the public. thankyou to anyone who can help
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2010
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean to keep the lion in and the visitor out?

    I think that many of our UK members would say chain link fence for the lion with a second lower fence/rail outside that to keep the visitor away from the lion fence.

    In many zoos in the US, that simple design is rejected in favor of a more "immersive" and dramatic experience. So while there may be high fence (6m is a possibility) around much of the lion area, there may be a glass viewing (which requires stronger structure around it - usually disguised under fake rock), or an open view where there is a broad and deep dry moat (not filled with water) to keep the lions in. You'd still have the visitor fence/rail there to keep people from hurling themselves into the moat.

    I do wonder when students say they have to design an enclosure but ask what to use. Doesn't the teacher give any guidance or instruction? What is the exercise for?

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. mazfc

    mazfc Well-Known Member

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    The Yorkshire wildlife park have just built a new lion enclosure, maybe you could contact them for some tips :)
     
  4. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  5. tasha

    tasha Member

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    yes this helps a lot thanks, not really we only get like a brief saying what to include and we go away and research all the areas involve then get all the prices and everything like that, i know there is quite a few materials you can use but i was wondering which one is best.
     
  6. taun

    taun Well-Known Member

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    Its not about whats best, its why you choice the materials for the effect you want!

    Maybe instead of asking on a open forum you try and contact a few zoos with lions and ask why they built the enclosure the way they did, as I presume you will have to list any references and listing a forum wont give you much credit with your lecturers.

    Maybe once you have an idea and plans you could post it so that we could express opinions on it but really it should be your idea first.
     
  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah! What taun said!
     
  8. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    Not so!

    Individuals have their own characteristics, skills and preferences.

    Among our males, one frequently chooses to use the elevated platform - his brother has never shown any interest in getting up there.
     
  9. easytigger

    easytigger Well-Known Member

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    it all depends on your budget really, chain link and windows can work well (subject to the strength of the glass! As I found out the hard way!!) Dry moats look really good, wet moats are a bad idea (i've seen lion cubs swim in a moat!!)
    However look at the bigger picture. Ideally the cats should have access to the exhibt 24/7 unless being shut in for cleaning / training / feeding, so the happy medium should be found, best public perception, optimum usage of the exhibit from the cats point of view, easy to maintain, natural looking etc
     
  10. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    All this is very true. We have a lasting memory of a lioness swimming in the pond in the enclosure at Paignton!

    But tell us easytigger - how did you find that out the hard way?
     
  11. karenZOO

    karenZOO Well-Known Member

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    What I would like from a lion enclosure is one thats as interesting to look at and still gives a good view of the lions, when lions are doing what they do best! sleeping!

    So it will have to have a good balance of what is good for the lions but also means that for the public they aren't just a mass of fur on a wooden platform, a pit design is good for viewing but gives you no idea of the size or presence. I like the tunnel idea :)
     
  12. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    A water moat with some hot wire works well, at least for a non-breeding pride (see pics in the gallery - Plzen and Zlin).
    Every plexi-glass will be scratched by lions rather sooner then later, so it needs frequent exchanges.
    When you builds a moat - you can use the "excess soil" to create a grassy hill. Lions like to have an overview and it allows to shoot nice pics.
     
  13. easytigger

    easytigger Well-Known Member

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    Well when I worked at Chessington the windows on thelion and tiger enclosures were to begin with on 19mm laminated windows, and they seemed to do the trick, I'd seen the cats jump up at them, even run at them at full speed, no problem at all.
    One day however just after a public feed I went down to answer any questions, literally the 2nd question I got asked was how thick are these windows, I reassured them that they were lion proof, no sooner had I said this then Ashok took a small run up maybe 10-15ft jumped up at the window and shattered it, only the laminate was keeping it in place!!!!
    I nearly grew a tail, grown men screamed and ran off, the area was quickly evacuated, and the dangerous animal escape proceedure put into place as a precaution, I opened the lion house up thankfully Ashok came straight, with a look on his face as if to say 'bloody hell that wasn't meant to happen' his sisters kamlesh and gita were really stressed by it all and took a while for them to be shut in, but it was a close call, one more hit of the window and he'd of been out and I'd have been a gonna (we had a love hate relationship)
    It transpires that the wooden window frames and warped in hot weather, adding pressure to the glass, and Ahok just hit it in the right place.
    The windows were quickly replaced with 32mm glass and steel frames
     
  14. Gavin123

    Gavin123 Well-Known Member

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    Slap the architect/designer by the sounds of it! :)
     
  15. tasha

    tasha Member

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    thank you to eveyone who has posted information it has been a big help and the design for the enclosure has been coming along really well. thankyou