From Cat House to Night Hunters

In three days, the Cat House will close for renovation. Originally built in 1950, the Carnivora House was renovated and transformed into the award-winning Cat House in 1985. The time has come once again to revitalize this exhibit building, which is showing signs of wear and tear. In addition to a new roof and an upgraded ventilation system, the entire public viewing area will be redone. The carpet’s coming out, the walls will be repaired and repainted, and the whole visitor experience will be transformed.

That’s where I come in. I’ve been working with the exhibit design team to develop an exciting new Night Hunters theme. Imagine…

It’s dark. A chorus of cicadas sings. You pass under a tree and get a prickly feeling on the back of your neck. What’s that sound? Your senses are heightened. Did that bush just move? You feel a rush of wind and, out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of an owl flying by. Vampire bats feed. An ocelot patrols its territory. A python slithers. You wonder if something is watching you, stalking you, hunting you. Adrenaline courses through your veins, preparing your body to fight or take flight in the face of danger. You make out the silhouette of a clouded leopard. Its shining yellow eyes follow you as you sneak by. It’s an eat-or-be-eaten world and in the new Night Hunters experience, scheduled to open this spring, you are the prey.

I don’t want to give away all of the surprises we have in store, but I’ll be documenting the renovation process as we go along so check back for progress updates over the next six months!

Here are some “before” pictures: