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Lion Jungle Gym
The Lions at Werribee Open Range Zoo are enjoying a new addition to their home – a custom made ‘jungle gym’, that provides opportunities for the growing pride to play, socialise and explore.
The structure has been crafted from an old fallen oak tree, with carefully selected sections and limbs craned into position to form a series of platforms, perfect for climbing, scratching and rest.
Zoo Keepers developed the concept with the aim of creating a range of different activities and learning opportunities within a single structure.
The jungle gym is great for climbing, but the use of anchor points also allows us to attach a range of items that encourage play and cooperation amongst pride mates.
It’s multifaceted – there are elements for scratching and rubbing, vantage points for rest and a winch will also be added, so that the pride can work together to feed.
The choice of materials for the project was serendipitous, with an old fallen oak tree in the zoo grounds providing the perfect base for the structure. Each element was craned into position, with the team also adding additional shelter and heating during the week-long renovation.
It’s been a big hit with the pride so far, particularly one-year-old cubs Kito, Kashka and Kubwa. At this age the cubs still have a lot of growing up to do and the gym provides an opportunity for them to further develop their balance, agility and strength, as they work together to retrieve food or enrichment items.
Zoo Keepers are always looking at new ways to encourage these natural, wild behaviours which are so important for the dynamic and care of the Lion pride at Werribee Open Range Zoo.