, 6410 Goldau
Conservation breeding, feeding system
|Felidae||Felis silvestris silvetris||European wildcat||1,1,2|
The wildcat enclosure originally built in 1988 was enlarged and restructured in 2014. The animal area is divided in two parts: a covered back portion and a larger open-air front portion.
From the cage in the back, the wildcats have access to the front exhibit through a small slide. The back enclosure has 4 sleeping boxes and serves as a retreat area for the cats as well as for catching animals and for quarantine.
The exhibit resembles an area after windstorm Lothar had passed through. This theme fits the park that was built on a large historic landslide. Partly and completely fallen and broken tree stems, native shrubs and trees and brush piles are integrated in the existing boulders from the natural rockfall in the area.
A viewing shelter for the visitors was created along the front of the main exhibit. The visitors enter the viewing shelter through wooden doors. The glass panels between the animal and visitor areas are an efficient barrier and allow an unobstructed view into the enclosure. The rest of the fence was covered with branches which serve as a visual barrier for both animals and visitors. Single gaps in the cover provide further viewing opportunities into the front exhibit. The back exhibit is not visible to the public.
To prevent escapes of animals, the enclosure is bordered by a 2 m high wire mesh fence that is overhanging and electrically secured.
Outdoor enclosure 228 m², indoor enclosure 30 m², visitor shelter 22 m², double door system to the enclosure 4 m²
Space allocation in square meters:
|use||indoors||outdoors|| total exhibit |
|accessible|| total ||accessible|| total |
CHF 254,000 including 10 % for design.
External Service 84000 CHF incl. VAT; Park's own contribution 170000 CHF incl. planning
6 May 2014
Beginning: 1 June 2013
- Visitor viewing shelter: Annen Holzbau AG, Goldau
Beginning: October 2013
- Visitor viewing shelter: Annen Holzbau AG, Goldau
- Construction manager: Contratto AG, Goldau
Native trees and shrubs were planted in the exhibit, including evergreen species for creating retreat areas.
The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:
The viewing enclosure is furnished with several tree stumps that the animals use for climbing, for scratching and as elevated resting places. Some stumps have holes for hiding food. There are also four electrically operated feeding boxes. An artificial stream provides water for the wild cats. Brush piles, shrubs and trees offer visual protection and shade.
The boxes in the back enclosure are used as sleeping places and to give birth. Overall, 4 boxes of 63 cm x 38 cm x 38 cm that are arranged on top of one another are available. The cats reach the boxes from a small wooden platform through a hatch on the long side of the box.
The diverse structure of the exhibit, the covering of the fence and permanent access to the back enclosure allow the animals to retreat from the view of the visitors.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:
The keepers enter the exhibit through a double door system that is connected to the back enclosure. Access to the viewing enclosure is through a connecting door.
The back portion of the enclosure is not visible to the visitors. Because it is enclosed, can be locked by a sliding gate, and has lockable boxes, it serves for catching animals. The wildcats can be lured in and the slide to the exhibit is closed. As the cats instinctively retreat into the boxes in the presence of persons, the openings can be closed with slides. The boxes can easily be removed from their mountings and can be used as transport boxes. The back enclosure can be divided if necessary, for example for quarantine.
One feeding box can be operated from the viewing shelter, the other ones are operated either automatically or from the keepers’ room.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:
The visitors can observe the wildcats without any visual barrier while being protected of the weather and possible surrounding noise. The chain-link fence is clad in branches to protect the view of the wildcats. Several small holes allow visitors to see the animals without disturbing them.
The feeding stations are well visible to the visitors. One of the stations can be operated from the viewing shelter by the staff on special guided tours.
A monitor is connected to a camera inside one sleeping box and enables the visitors to see inside.
The European wildcat is regularly part of guided tours at the park. An education sign attached to the fence and rotating elements beneath it inform the visitors about the distribution and habitat of the wildcat, its near extinction, and its return to its natural habitat. The food spectrum as well as morphologic differences between wildcats and domestic cats are explained.
Part of the food is daily offered in the back enclosure. The animals can be separated when necessary because of the division of the enclosure.
Behavioral studies which compare the old enclosure to the new one document the use of enrichment and design elements.
Young animals from the Animal Park Goldau are given to other zoos for conservation breeding and reintroduction projects.
Planning and construction were entirely accomplished by local firms.
|©Natur- und Tierpark Goldau, 2014|
|©Wild Ingenieure AG, Jonas Homburg, 2016|
|View towards the back enclosure (11)|
|©Natur- und Tierpark Goldau, 2016|