Big Cats New Enclosure At Swiss Zoo Will Simulate Hunting Environment To Support Animals’ Natural Behaviour

Big cats at a Swiss zoo will have access to a hunting ground to help them feel more at home after the construction of their brand-new enclosure concludes two years from now.

The new big cat enclosure in the Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, dubbed the Panterra habitat will have all the space and hiding places to awaken the cats’ instincts, although no live prey, with the idea it will encourage the animal’s natural behaviour by simulating a hunting environment.

Divided into four parts, the facility will host all big cat species including Asiatic lions, Siberian tigers, and snow leopards, along with many other animals in the zoo as of April 2025.

Zoo Zurich, Nicole Schnyder, Region Five Media/Newsflash

The enclosure, whose construction began in July 2023, is reportedly part of the zoo’s 2050 development plan.

Zurich Zoo said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The different big cat species can use four different habitats in rotation.

“The individual systems are connected with bridges over the visitor path.

“When the animals move from facility to facility, visitors are offered an additional and unique view of the cats.”

The zoo added that red pandas will also be given access to the trees in the Panterra enclosure through a special passage.

Image shows Asiatic lions, undated photo. Big cats at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, will receive a new enclosure in April 2025. (Zoo Zurich, Jeanette Steiner/Newsflash)

Additionally, the current wolf enclosure will be integrated into the Panterra facility as wolves will no longer be kept in the zoo in the future.

Zoo officials said: “During the construction phase, the zoo will accommodate the current residents of the facilities temporarily or permanently in other zoos.

“This is done in consultation with the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) [EAZA Ex-situ programme].

“The snow leopard, tiger, lion, red panda and many insect species are considered endangered in nature.

Image shows a Siberian Tiger, undated photo. Big cats at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, will receive a new enclosure in April 2025. (Zoo Zurich, Enzo Franchini/Newsflash)

“Of the Asiatic lion and Amur tiger subspecies kept at Zurich Zoo, there are only a few hundred left in the wild.

“In the case of the snow leopard, there are still around 3,000.

“This makes it all the more important to have a stable, healthy reserve population of this species in European zoos.”

The Zurich Zoo which is currently taking part in the EAZA Ex-situ programme for tiger, lion, snow leopard and red panda protection will also take an active part in the protection of endangered insect species in the future.

Image shows snow leopards Saida, Warjun, Wajra and Shahrukh, undated photo. Big cats at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, will receive a new enclosure in April 2025. (Zoo Zurich, Enzo Franchini/Newsflash)
Image shows a red panda, undated photo. Big cats at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, will receive a new enclosure in April 2025. (Zoo Zurich, Enzo Franchini/Newsflash)
Image shows an animation of the new Panterra facility, undated photo. Big cats at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, will receive a new enclosure in April 2025. (Zoo Zurich, Region Five Media/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

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