Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, UK is set to open Tropical House, its new £7.8m ($11m) rainforest exhibit, in March.
Tropical House is being developed as part of a 10-year, £17m investment plan to strengthen Marwell Zoo. It is expected to boost visitor numbers by 6%.
The exhibit has been constructed over two levels and will allow visitors to explore more than 45 different species of plant. They will also be able to see animals such as the two-toed sloth, crocodile monitor lizard, pygmy marmosets, snake-necked turtles and free-flying birds. In addition, there will be more than 1,000 fish in the aquarium.
As well as seeing the mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, guests will also be able to visit the interactive Discovery Zone, where they can find out how the energy we need to power our modern lifestyles is generated and learn about renewable forms of energy.
Tropical House’s curved roof has been constructed using Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE), a recyclable material that lets natural light shine through that was previously used in the construction of the Eden Project.
The heating system for the exhibit will be powered by the zoo’s animal waste and wood chippings from its woodland management operations. The zoo has a goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.
Marwell Zoo is home to more than 140 species and is owned by Marwell Wildlife, a global conservation charity.
Images: c. Marwell Zoo.