The San Antonio Zoo plans to expand its jaguar habitat with an overhead catwalk, which connects the jaguars’ existing Amazonia habitat to another riverside habitat.
The jaguar catwalk will be positioned above the heads of visitors as they enjoy the existing jaguar habitat, leading the big cats to their current and new habitats.
The zoo is investing close to $1.4 million in the jaguar catwalk. Tim Morrow, CEO of the San Antonio Zoo, said the expansion replicates the wild and allows the jaguars to use their natural climbing abilities.
“As we have been doing across the zoo with upgraded habitats, we are going to provide larger, more naturalistic, and more enriching spaces for our jaguars that closely match their surroundings in the wild,” said Morrow (via Fox San Antonio).
Once complete, the catwalk will expand the existing habitat by 120 percent, providing a larger and more enriching living space for the jaguars.
$1.4m investment in zoo’s jaguar catwalk
The zoo’s team of designers and architects used state-of-the-art technology and parametric design tools to build the structure, which gives the jaguars a smooth surface to rest on.
The San Antonio Zoo will be the only zoo in the US to offer a catwalk for its jaguars. The habitat will reinforce two natural behaviours, allowing the cats to ‘hang high’ in a canopy setting and explore the river’s edge.
Elsewhere, The Houston Zoo is expanding with a Galápagos Islands exhibit featuring Humboldt penguins as part of the zoo’s wider transformation plans.
Fundraising for the San Antonio Zoo’s jaguar catwalk started in 2016. The attraction is expected to be completed this year with a goal to open in fall 2021.
Images: San Antonio Zoo