Pfaffendorfer Straße 29
Phone: 0049 341 5933500
artificial rock, breeding, climbing, keepers, mixed species, moat, off-exhibit, water quality
The exhibit was built as part of the zoo's on-going master plan, as the first step in the "Asia" zone. Formerly, all bears at the zoo were kept on brick "stages" built in 1929. Since these were no longer considered appropriate for the keeping of bears, a new naturalistic exhibit was created. The old bear exhibits are, however, preserved because of their unique architecture and their historic significance. They may be turned into a children's play area.
The new sloth bear area includes two large outdoor enclosures and a building (off-exhibit) with a series of enclosures plus a special enclosure for mothers and babies.
A dry moat divides the outdoor space into two separate enclosures. Visitors can see through one to the other, so it appears as if they were connected, which adds depth to the view. The side barriers and the holding building are camouflaged by artificial rock.
Rhesus macaques are exhibited with the bears.
Space allocation in square meters:
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including 1% for design.
28 March 2002
Beginning: October 2000
Beginning: June 2001
- Paintings: Atelier Axel Krause, Leipzig, Germany
- Statics, Foundation: Mathias Foertsch, Wiederitzsch, Germany
- Artificial Rock: Studio Grafico Naturalistico, Verona, Italy
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The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:
Both an indoor and outdoor space are available for breeding females which is not accessible to visitors. The space is made to be especially dark and quiet for the mothers and babies. It is situated so it does not need to be passed-through or otherwise disturbed when a mother is inside. All of the indoor enclosures are 30 cm above floor level of the keepers' space, preventing the animals from constantly standing up to meet the height of the keepers. Each species, sloth bears and macaques, have their own entrance and exit doors placed at different heights to avoid competition. The outdoor enclosure includes deadfall for climbing.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:
All indoor enclosures and one off-exhibit outdoor enclosure are connected for shifting. A large kitchen is provided.
In the off-exhibit facilities, barriers are made from bars instead of mesh, so keepers can reach into enclosures when necessary.
All switches and cranks are placed far enough from animal areas so that they cannot reach through the bars and claw at a keeper handling them.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:
Viewing is mainly across water moats which are used by the bears. Additionally, a "crack" in the rocks allows a close view through a window.
A viewing cave offers a unique view through a waterfall to the outdoor space. A video monitor in this cave looks into the off-exhibit breeding room where mothers with babies are kept.
All signage is designed in an Asian style with bamboo frames.
Visitors can peek into little holes in an artificial termite mound to find images of the various termite forms (larvae, queen, soldier etc.). A sign next to the termite mound explains how bears feed from termites. The slurping sound of a bear eating termites is emitted from the mound when a visitor pushes the corresponding button.
The water for the waterfall and water moat comes from a River and is naturally high in iron oxides. To clean it, the water passes through reed beds in the water moat before being pumped over the roof of the visitor cave to feed the waterfall.
A biology student evaluated the use of the exhibit, enrichment opportunities and interaction of bears.
Leipzig participates in the European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for sloth bears and has successfully bred them during the past years.