ZSL London Zoo has announced a groundbreaking £5.2m exhibit for 2016. Land of the Lions will give visitors the chance to get right up-close to a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions.
Once widespread throughout Northern India and Pakistan, the species is now on the critical list with only about 400 remaining in the wild.
Work has already started on the new exhibit, which has been designed with expert zookeepers and conservationists to give the Asiatic lions state-of-the-art facilities. It will be five times the size of the previous enclosure, covering more than 2, 500sqm (27, 000 sqft).
Leading design and build company, Paragon Creative, will be working closely with ZSL and main contractor, Buxtons, to undertake the theming and rock work.
Mark Pyrah, CEO of Paragon Creative, says, ‘Paragon is thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious £0.533m contract. It’s a great niche piece of work for our in-house multi-disciplined team to undertake. Being able to make a real difference to the lives of these wonderful creatures, as well as educating and inspiring the millions of zoo visitors to help protect these iconic big cats from the very real threat of extinction, is a huge honour. We are proud to be a small part of the mission to save the Asiatic lion.’
Visitors to Land of the Lions will embark on a captivating journey which celebrates the vibrant culture of the lions’ native home. They will experience just how closely humans and lions live in the Gir Forest as they catch tantalising glimpses of the lions’ habitat throughout a bustling Indian ‘village’. Finally, they will reach the national park which has been inspired by the landscape of the Gir Forest. It is here, at the heart of the exhibit, that visitors will come face-to-face with the awe-inspiring big cats in the 360° lions’ den.
Paragon Creative has been involved in over 1000 projects in more than 26 countries for attractions such as museums, heritage centres, aquariums, theme parks and FECs. They have worked on projects for clients as divesrse as the Hong Kong Wetland Park, Ice Age Movie Park, Bottrop and Imperial War Museum, London.