ZSL London Zoo selects Base Structures for flagship 'Tiger Territory' project

Top Quote Base Structures is set to build a stunning new enclosure for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, offering millions of visitors the opportunity to come eye to eye with this big cat in an architect designed setting. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 21, 2012 - The new exhibit will be five times the size of the Zoo's current tiger enclosure (2,500 sqm) and is part of ZSL London Zoo's £3.6M programme to establish a major tiger conservation headquarters.

    Visualised by Michael Kozdon of Wharmby Kozdon Architects in conjunction with ZSL's team of tiger keepers, conservationists and experts, Base Structures was responsible for the design and engineering of the enclosure, which constitutes a massive redevelopment project.

    17m high, it will encompass a stainless steel net with architectural form supported by a series of masts. The steel mesh will connect down to timber and glass allowing visitors to come face to face with these rare and stunning animals. A segregation net supports a carefully planned breeding programme. The enclosure also comprises a free forming dynamic roof to encompass the tiger's tall climbing trees and allow the tigers freedom to indulge their natural jumping ability of up to 5M high.

    The structure has been designed and engineered with thick 3mm mesh to withstand both the impact of its inhabitants at full pelt (an average tiger exerts 3.5 tonnes per square inch) and 100 year event weather conditions including snow loads.

    "We're proud to be a major part of this high profile conservation project," said Andy Traynor, Head of Installations at Base Structures. "We have been involved with a lot of zoos and it's great to be able to apply our experience to help save this rare and special breed of tigers."

    The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the remaining five tiger subspecies. It has lived exclusively, for over a million years on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Sadly, due to poaching, habitat loss and human conflict, it is estimated that just 300 Sumatran tigers remain, which puts it at high risk of extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.

    The contract follows a long track record for Base Structures building zoo enclosures throughout Europe including Living Coast, Bristol Zoo, Twycross Zoo and Le Pal, France.

    Working around the world to try to reverse the fate of the Sumatran tiger, Tiger Territory will enable ZSL to breed tigers at ZSL London Zoo and learn more about these elusive animals to apply to its field conservation projects.

    The new enclosure will open in 2013.

    About Base Structures
    Founded in 2001, Base Structures is a specialist sub contractor offering a one stop shop for the design, manufacture and installation of tensile fabric structures.

    Operating across Europe, Base has over 50 staff and £5million turnover. Notable client projects include Up at The O2, Heathrow Terminal 5, London 2012 sporting venues, Eden Project and the Mound Stand at Lords Cricket Ground.

    Services include bespoke exterior and interior fabric structures, rigging plus a range of pre-designed tensile fabric products, as well as zoo mesh enclosures and the new TEXO® fabric framing system.

    For media enquiries, please contact Ben Luger at +44 (0) 117 971 2229 or email benl ( @ ) basestructures dot com

    For further information visit www.basestructures.com

    About ZSL
    For more information please contact Rebecca Smith
    T: 0207 449 6236
    E: rebecca.smith ( @ ) zsl dot org

    Sumatran Tigers
    The Sumatran tiger, whose habitat is the forests and jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia, are now classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. The definition of which is the highest category of threat and facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Facing threats of poaching, habitat loss and human-conflict Sumatran tigers face a daily battle for survival. In the 1970s, there were estimated to be 1,000 Sumatran tigers in the wild, today's figures say that there are just 300. Should their numbers continue to decline at this rate, Sumatran tigers will face the very real threat of extinction within the next decade.

    ZSL London Zoo and Tigers
    ZSL was the first organisation in the world to dedicate itself to the scientific study of animals and their habitats. As the registered charity behind ZSL London Zoo, ZSL has more than 100 years of experience working with tigers and are world leaders in veterinary knowledge and tiger expertise. ZSL is already working in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Russia to lobby policy makers, create wildlife corridors, patrol tiger habitats, carry out monitoring and work with communities to reduce human-tiger conflict. At ZSL London Zoo more than 1m people each year come into contact with Sumatran tigers, including more than 100,000 school children.

    Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: the key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The Society runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in more than 50 countries worldwide. For further information please visit www.zsl.org

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