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Category — Cat Canyon

Listening To Our Animals

cougar_exhibit

With Joseph in the cougar exhibit.

As an animal trainer or even a pet owner the most important thing you can do with your animal is to listen to them. I don’t mean physically having the ability to listen to them, but rather your willingness to sit, watch, and listen. In my blog post last week it was very clear that listening to an animal I work with can be imperative – it can save your life. Like listening to Makine, my rehab Java Macaque. The keepers and staff at the Cincinnati Zoo also listen to and know their animals. A clear example of keepers knowing their animals and listening to them is found in the story of the design of the Zoo’s cougar exhibit.

joe_cougar

Joseph as a cub.

When I was helping to raise the cougars, “Joseph” and “Tecumseh,” we had a strict schedule of exercise, enrichment, training, and play. Each day we would go for multiple walks, exercise them in the Cheetah Encounter yard, play with them, and even nap with them. We had to build a very strong bond with these animals so they could be transferred to their new enclosure and feel safe and secure. The only way to do this was to spend the time with them so even if they were worried they would trust their trainers and look to them for guidance. We wanted them to know if we weren’t worried about something, they didn’t need to be either. The only way to get that response and trust from them was to spend every day, all day, with them. Rough job, I know. [Read more →]

March 22, 2013   No Comments

Cat Canyon Finishing Touches

Just six more days until Cat Canyon opens! Zoo Members will get a sneak preview on Members Night this Friday. The exhibit is looking great, and the cats have been out exploring their new yards. Now that the structures are in place and the landscaping is pretty much finished, Graphics has begun installing the signage. We’re also finalizing the soundtrack and tweaking the sound levels. Listen for tiger roars, tokay gecko calls, and gibbon songs.

June 25, 2012   1 Comment

Tiger Sculpture Arrives

Kingdom Productions did an amazing job creating a life-size tiger relief sculpture for the Cat Canyon exhibit. Below are some pictures of the installation.

All wrapped up and ready to go to the Zoo

All wrapped up and ready to go to the Zoo

Transporting the sculpture into the Cat Canyon area

Transporting the sculpture into the Cat Canyon area

Installed!

Installed!

Next, Horticulture will move in and pretty up the space with plants so it looks as if the tiger is peeking out from the vegetation. Come by the exhibit when it opens later this month to get the full effect.

June 14, 2012   1 Comment