The new Amur tiger exhibit at the Denver Zoo, called “The Edge,” contains three Siberian Tigers, named Nikolai, Thimbu, and Nikita. This exhibit opened to the public on March 17th.
This exhibit is a lot of fun to visit. The zoo keepers are informative and helpful. They talk about how the tigers are endangered and how they need our help to save them. I am glad this opportunity has arisen for these big cats to be saved by humans as they are a big part of our ecosystem. You can see the cats through a glass window, a metal panel that simulates the jungle, or through a chain-linked fence. Except for the fence, you got to get pretty close to the tigers compared to other exhibits that I have been to. My favorite was the metal panel because you were only 3 inches of metal away from the tiger. You could hear it, you could smell its breath, and you could see the way that the animals of the jungle see it. The cats must be pretty happy as this exhibit nearly doubles the tiger’s outdoor space from their current home in the Felines Exhibit.
There are several parts to the enclosure that includes a cat walk overhead that lets the big cats walk and lie on, as well as sleep in the sun. Both sides contain swimming pools. One side, for cats in the prime of their life, contains jumping steps, a huge post to climb to get up to the catwalk, and a log. The other side, for the young and the old tigers, contains a ramp to get up to the catwalk, a smaller more shallow pool, and a log and other things to keep the tigers entertained. The catwalk is above the heads of visitors. It was pretty funny because some of the visitors thought the cats had peed on them but in reality, they were just shaking off water from the pool! You don’t really get wet, you just feel a mist.
I highly recommend a visit. There are fewer than 400 Amur tigers in the wild, and they are largest type of cat. The name “The Edge” was intentional as it shows how close to the edge you get to the tigers, how you see the edge of the forest, and how the tigers are on the edge of extinction.