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New Tiger Exhibit Opens at the Cleveland Zoo With Assurances of Safety

Picture of Cleveland Zoo's Andi Kornak
KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU

Visitors to the Cleveland Metropark Zoo are getting their first look at the new exhibit for its pair of Siberian tigers. The Rosebrough Tiger Passage opened today, nearly a week after a child got into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit. Cleveland zoo officials say its new exhibit gives visitors a chance to safely see the tigers up close.

The new $4 million exhibit gives the tigers many different options for climbing or lounging in the shade or cool water, and visitors can get face-to-face with them at glass viewing areas. But the tigers weren’t out for the grand opening. The zoo’s director of animal and veterinary programs,  Andi Kornak, says it will take the animals some time to get used to their new environment.

Siberian tiger
Credit CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
The new space is five times larger than the old

“These habitats are five times the size they were. Very complex environments for them in order to help simulate more of their habitat in the wild, and in order to allow them to express behaviors that you would see in the wild. So it will take them a few weeks to become comfortable and explore all of the spaces.”  

Kornak says it’s hoped that seeing the animals up close will encourage visitors to become involved in conservation efforts because only about 500 wild Siberian tigers are left in their native Russia. And she says while the exhibit encourages close interaction between the animals and visitors, all safety standards are in place to prevent accidents.