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null.gifLOCATIONKEY WORDSANIMALSAWARDSnull.gifDESCRIPTIONSIZECOSTSOPENING DATEnull.gifDESIGNCONSTRUCTIONLOCAL CONDITIONSPLANTSnull.gifFEATURES ANIMALSFEATURES KEEPERSFEATURES VISITORSINTERPRETATIONnull.gifRESEARCHMANAGEMENTCONSERVATIONLOCAL RESOURCESnull.gif
 
 
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Oregon Zoo

Predators of the Serengeti: Cheetahs

Brent Shelby (author for Oregon Zoo)
Corinne Bailey, Monika Fiby (editors for ZooLex)
Published 2017-6-20
English

 

UP LOCATION:

4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221, United States
Phone: 01-503-2261561
URL: http://www.oregonzoo.org


UP KEY WORDS:

African mammal, carnivore


UP ANIMALS:

Family:Species:Common Name:Capacity:
FelidaeAcinonyx jubatusCheetah4.0


UP AWARDS:

    2010 AZA Exhibit Award


UP DESCRIPTION:

Predators of the Serengeti provides environments for some of Africa’s most endangered carnivores, including lions, cheetahs and African wild dogs. The nearly 10,100 m² (2.5-acre), exhibit is also home to red-billed hornbills, a caracal, dwarf mongooses and an African rock python.

Predators of the Serengeti is a remodel of the zoo’s 25-year old Alaska Tundra exhibit. Animal exhibits and behind-the-scenes care facilities were enlarged; visitor areas expanded; circulation paths altered; infrastructure modernized and aesthetics upgraded. The exhibit not only includes Serengeti animals, but also incorporates the region’s geography and history. In the open-air entrance plaza, the canopy of a life-size replica baobab tree stretches across the sky. Further into the exhibit, the Roaring Canyon pathway evokes the canyons and gorges of Africa’s Rift Valley, with ancient petroglyphs and rock art adorning the pathway’s walls.

The primary interpretive message for the Predators of the Serengeti exhibit is: "It’s hard to be a hunter; they’re well-equipped but they face a lot of challenges!"

Predators of the Serengeti has five main objectives: to bring African lions back to the zoo; to raise public understanding of predators’ important role in nature; to counter the negative and sensationalist representation of predators in Western culture; to assist in the collaborative, captive management of endangered African predators; and to offer opportunities for visitors to directly support African predator conservation programs.

The cheetah exhibit represents an open, hilly grassland, with naturalistic features, like grasslands, heated dens, grassy knolls and waterfalls. The exhibit also includes a pool and stream water feature with large and small rocks as enrichment for the cheetahs. Rockwork and water features create different levels in the enclosure. A real safari vehicle appears to have crashed into the enclosure, leaving the front half of the vehicle in the cheetahs’ space. Visitors can climb in and watch cheetahs lounge on the vehicle’s heated metal hood.
 

UP SIZE:

Space allocation is for the entire Predators of the Serengeti exhibit complex: total size: 8320m², outdoor animal space: 3530m², indoor animal space: 415m², staff area: 230m², inside visitor area: 510m², outside visitor area: 300m², service pathways etc: 3335m².

Space allocation in square meters:

useindoorsoutdoors     total exhibit    
accessible     total     accessible     total    
animals4154153,5303,5303,945
visitors510510300300810
others2302303,3355,1155,345
total1,1557,1658,94510,100

 

UP COSTS:

USD 7,064,235 including 7.6 % for design.

Cost allocation is for the entire Predators of the Serengeti exhibit complex: Design - $537,857; Construction - $6,166,810; Owner purchased equipment - $359,568.
 

UP OPENING DATE:

12 September 2009
 

UP DESIGN:

Beginning: 2006

  • Concept Design: Oregon Zoo, Portland
  • Exhibit Design: Oregon Zoo, Portland
  • Interpretive Graphics: Oregon Zoo, Portland

UP CONSTRUCTION:

Beginning: August 2008

  • Exhibit Construction: Oregon Zoo, Portland
  • General Contractor: 2KG Contractors, Portland

UP LOCAL CONDITIONS:

walter.gif This is a climatic diagram for the closest weather station.

 

UP PLANTS:

Set amidst the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, the exhibit’s plants replicate the diversity of the African savanna.

Tree bases are protected by tubes to prevent damage by the cheetahs.

The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.


UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:

Special provisions for training and enrichment include attachment points in exhibit walls for securing enrichment items. The waterfall, pool and stream water features encourage the cheetahs to express natural drinking and play behaviours. In addition to the heated Land Rover hood by the viewing window, the enclosure contains heated dens for the comfort and shelter of the animals.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:

There is visual access to all animal holding areas to assess safety before entering. Positive locking on all staff service doors to animal spaces and double containment barriers provide additional safety in behind-the-scenes areas. Slide doors and chutes connecting dens can be manouvered to safely manage the animals. Two keepers are provided lead direction from a senior keeper and supervision from an assistant curator.

The cheetah holding area contains a keeper service area with a small kitchen, vehicle access, and five dens, with slide doors for cheetah separation. Doors are operated from outside the dens for the keeper’s safety.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:

Visitors to the Predators of the Serengeti are invited to use all of their senses. The exhibit’s savanna themed “plantscape” sets the stage for an “out of Oregon” experience. African drumming and music can be heard among a cluster of thatched roof huts. A well-worn path leads past a replicated village well and a towering artificial baobab tree to a rocky overlook where a cheetah drinks from a waterfall-fed pool, and then lies down for a nap on the warm metal hood of a safari vehicle. A real safari vehicle appears to have crashed into the enclosure, leaving the front half of the vehicle in the cheetahs’ space. Visitors can climb in and watch cheetahs lounge on the vehicle’s warm metal hood. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide viewing into the cheetah exhibit. All visitor areas are ADA code compliant.
 

UP INTERPRETATION:

Hands-on interactive elements invite visitors to compare the vision of a predator with its prey, chart the activity of a pack of wild dogs, jump as high as a caracal, perceive the world as a python, climb as quickly as a lizard and leap as far as a lion. The cheetah exhibit interpretation includes the real safari vehicle “crashed” into the enclosure, and extends to more formal signs explaining the behaviour and social structure of the species. Interactive signage encourages visitors to try and run as fast as a cheetah, whilst a clear conservation message is conveyed with signs explaining community engagement and education.

Children and adults learn that predators come in all sizes and that all are essential to the health of a fully-functional ecosystem. Inspired by the field work of African wildlife biologists depicted in interpretive displays, visitors are invited to donate to their favorite predator conservation project.

The interpretive plan identifies a total of 15 distinct areas throughout the Predators of the Serengeti exhibit. Each area features either a distinct predator species, introduces one of the sub-themes, or has a specific function. Within each area, anywhere from one to twelve ideas are introduced through a combination of different delivery methods. Predators includes a total of 54 educational components comprised of exhibit labels, interactives, audio-visual elements and interpreter guided experiences.
 

UP MANAGEMENT:

The daily routine includes cleaning the exhibits and holding areas, evaluation of animals for any medical or behavioural issues, providing the prescribed diet, training animals in husbandry and veterinary behaviours (scale platform training for weights, shifting, etc.), providing approved enrichment items and activities and insuring the safety of the animals, staff and public by inspecting the animal exhibits for integrity. Two keepers are provided lead direction from a senior keeper and supervision from an assistant curator.

Code compliant fire extinguishers, alarms and marked egress routes are present throughout Predators of the Serengeti. There is a smoke detection and fire suppression system.

The indoor holding areas and off exhibit areas of the cheetahs are connected through controllable slide doors and chutes. The cheetahs have access to five indoor dens for separation.
 

UP RESEARCH:

In 2006, the zoo’s Conservation Manager developed a front-end, on-line survey instrument to learn what the general public knew and thought about predators. Approximately 1,000 people completed an on-line questionnaire. In 2007 a formative evaluation study, under the guidance of an external evaluation consultant (MPR Museum Consulting) used prototypes by the in-house design team to test the impact and effectiveness of a variety of potential interpretive messages and strategies on visitors. Two summative evaluations have been completed since the exhibit opened in September of 2009. Evaluation results reflect high visitor satisfaction with the exhibit, above-average exhibit stay time and an increased understanding of predators, their role in nature and current survival threats.
 

UP CONSERVATION:

The Oregon Zoo participates in all Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), Species Survival Plan (SSP) and/ or Population Management Plan (PMP) programs for Predators species (lion, cheetah, African wild dog, caracal, rock python, dwarf mongoose, red-billed hornbill, African bullfrog and spiders) and is committed to following all recommendations.

In the course of planning and developing Predators of the Serengeti, the zoo’s Conservation Manager established relationships with three organizations involved with in situ predator conservation efforts in Africa. The Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project (Kenya) focuses on practical measures that encourage coexistence between people, livestock, and lions. The Painted Dog Education Program (Zimbabwe) aims to raise conservation awareness about this endangered species. The Action for Cheetahs-Kenya develops research and education programs. Each of these three organizations provided the zoo with information and images depicting their field-based conservation activities. These were used to produce three large interpretive panels installed in the public viewing areas adjacent to the lion, wild dog and cheetah exhibits, respectively. Zoo visitors have opportunities, in the form of “wishing wells,” to contribute directly to the success of these projects at the end of their Predators of the Serengeti experience.
 

UP LOCAL RESOURCES:


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Overview
©Oregon Zoo, 2014

 
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Site Plan
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Cheetah (1)
©Carli Davidson, Oregon Zoo, 2014

 
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Cheetah Jeep View (2)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Predators of the Serengeti Plaza (3)
©Monika Fiby, 2010

 
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Drumming (4)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Predators of the Serengeti Entry (5)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Life-Size Lion Sculpture (6)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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First Predator View of Lions (7)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Hut (8)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah Enclosure (9)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Cheetah Pool (10)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah Enclosure (11)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah Viewing (12)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah on Hood (13)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Land Rover Viewing (14)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Land Rover Viewing (15)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah Holding Plan (16)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Cheetah Holding (17)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Viewing Windows (18)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Glass and Rockwork (19)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Tree Protection (20)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Signage (21)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Signage (22)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Cheetah Interpretation (23)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 
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Predators of the Serengeti Exit (24)
©Monika Fiby, 2009

 
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Aerial Overview of Zoo (25)
©Oregon Zoo, 2010

 

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