The Tiger exhibit at Detroit Zoo will soon be three times bigger and give zoo visitors a much deeper and more immersive experience, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Richard C. Devereaux Foundation.

The zoo plans to expand and enhance its tiger habitat. Their new home will “feature naturalistic elements important to the species,” including tiered vantage points, trees, a cave and a waterfall with a pool.

detroit zoo tiger enclosure

Set to start in 2017, the work will take around a year to complete.

Leslie Devereaux said, “The Detroit Zoo is one of my favorite places on Earth, and I think tigers are the most magnificent of all creatures. It brings me great pride to be able to support both an organization and a species that I hold so dear to my heart.”

Devereaux, of Bloomfield Hills, is a former member of the Detroit Zoological Society Board of Directors. She has previously contributed to the construction of the other zoo projects, including the Arctic Ring of Life and the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex. She also helped fund the Berman Academy for Humane Education.

detroit zoo tiger enclosure

The Richard C. Devereaux Foundation, named after Leslie’s late father, is an independent foundation. It is concerned mainly with education, health organizations (particularly cancer research) and wildlife preservation.

The Amur Tiger

Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society executive director and CEO said, “This generous gift will help us provide the tigers with a larger and more complex space in which to live.”

 The new, much larger exhibit will have more viewing areas for visitors. Detroit Zoo’s current lion exhibit has a large acrylic window which allows a closer and more immersive experience for guests. The new tiger exhibit will have a similar window too. This will replace the exhibit’s existing deep trench which lies between zoo visitors and the tigers.
detroit zoo tiger enclosure
Detroit Zoo is home to a female Amur tiger called Kisa (“Kitty” in Russian). She was born at the zoo in 2003. The Amur tiger is the largest subspecies of tiger and the world’s biggest cat. Previously known as Siberian tigers, they are listed as an endangered species.
Patricia Janeway, a Detroit Zoo representative, said there are plans to acquire additional tigers, but there is no timeline established.
Images: Tiger at top Martin Pettitt, Flickr cc, others Detroit Zoological Society.