New Philly Exhibits: Cats & Birds

Big Cat Crossing at the Philadelphia Zoo and Birds of Paradise at the Academy of Natural Sciences




Amur tiger lounging on the Big Cat Crossing

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MK recently attended the openings of two new cat- and bird-themed exhibits at two of our favorite Philly venues — the Philadelphia Zoo and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Big Cat Crossing at the Philadelphia Zoo

Big Cat Crossing is the latest addition to the Philadelphia Zoo's four-part Zoo360 animal-trail system, the first and only such pathway in any zoo in the world. This mesh-enclosed, elevated tube, which put me in mind of a hamster Habitrail, extends from the Big Cat Falls installation and allows a wide variety of species — now, Amur tigers, African lions, jaguars and leopards, along with great apes, primates and bears — to travel long distances to parts of the zoo they couldn't otherwise access. (The different species "time-share," so no two types of animals are out on the pathway simultaneously.)

The opening was marked by cat-themed cupcakes. . .

A ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by PA Governor Tom Corbett, who brought his wife, daughter and grandson Liam to check out the cats. . .

And the first foray over the Big Cat Crossing by Amur tigers Dimitri and Wiz.

Given how many times they lapped back and forth, as well as the way they stretched out to lounge in the sun, they appear happy with the new trail. The zoo's happy, too, with plans to expand the system to accommodate gorillas, rhinos and giraffes in coming years.

Big Cat Crossing at the Philadelphia Zoo opens officially to the public on Sat., May 10.

Next page, Birds of Paradise at the Academy of Natural Sciences

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