The Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences has donated $1 million to the Woodland Park Zoo for a new, more naturalistic tiger and Asian bear exhibit complex.
The new exhibits will represent the lush forests of tropical Asia and will be designed to encourage natural behavior such as stalking “prey” (actually a lure line), climbing trees and splashing in a pool.
Part of the zoo’s $21 million Asian Tropical Forest fundraising initiative, the new tiger and Asian bear exhibit complex will replace the 60-year-old, outdated infrastructure that critically endangered tigers and Asian bears currently inhabit at the zoo.
To bring the behind-the-scenes care of these animals into the forefront for zoo visitors, the exhibit design includes specialized training stations where keepers will interact one-on-one with tigers and bears. These training presentations will get visitors closer to live predators than at any other exhibit at the zoo, and provide insight into how the zoo safely cares for such large and dangerous animals.
The Simonyi Fund gift marks the second seven-figure leadership gift made this year to the zoo’s Campaign for More Wonder More Wild, a comprehensive campaign that includes the Asian Tropical Forest initiative as well as seven other fundraising initiatives focused on animal care, conservation, education and the zoo visitor experience.
Since making its public launch in March 2011, the Campaign for More Wonder More Wild has reached 82% of its total $80 million fundraising goal.