Odin’s Temple of the Tiger poised to open at Six Flags
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 05/27/2009 01:01:02 AM PDT
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Despite “minor construction delays,” Odin’s Temple of the Tiger exhibit will opens before the official start of summer, a Six Flags Discovery Kingdom spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Going from concept to opening in six months, the new exhibit — created to resemble an ancient ruined temple, but with a huge TV monitor — features two areas where guests and tigers can come face to face, said Nancy Chan.
“There will be an outdoor area, with a waterfall surrounded by climate-controlled rocks and a pool with a viewing area, so people can see the tigers underwater,” Chan said. “Odin, our white Bengal tiger, has gotten so popular over the past couple of years that people were struggling to be able to see.”
Odin’s Temple area seats 2,500 visitors. The current Tiger Island exhibit offers only 500 seats, she said.
The Tiger Island exhibit, where Odin and the park’s other 10 tigers have been cavorting since 1997, is being transformed into a “mixed-species exhibit,” to include pygmy hippos and the chiclid fish common in their natural habitat, as well as blackbuck antelopes and huge, swimming rodents called capybara, Chan said.
Now those creatures will be visible under water, too, she added.
Odin’s Temple is an expansion and “re-imagining” of Discovery Kingdom’s former Jungle Theater, with more seating, shade structures and a glass-sided pool for watching the tigers swim, Chan said.
“It was made to look old by artists, who work with the cement and paint,” said maintenance director Pat Clancy.
A special area featuring several big windows will provide visitors the opportunity “to be nose to nose with the tigers,” Clancy said.
Some of the new exhibit’s features, like the temperature-controlled rocks, were created with the tigers’ comfort in mind, while maintaining the natural ambiance, he said.
“It’s for their enrichment,” Clancy said. “It’s nicer than nature.”
The tiger shows in the new arena will still feature demonstrations of natural tiger behaviors, but with “an added cast of characters to engage the audience,” Chan said.
Odin’s Temple is expected to be open to the public after June 10, and shows will start there after a short period of adjustment for the animals, she added.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom opens daily through Aug. 25.