Zoo Plans $3.5 Million Tiger Exhibit

Zoo Plans $3.5 Million Tiger Exhibit
POSTED: 7:14 am EST February 4, 2008
UPDATED: 7:42 am EST February 4, 2008
SANFORD, Fla. — The Central Florida Zoo is about to announce plans for a new multimillion-dollar exhibit, WESH 2 News has learned.
The plan is for a Sumatran tiger exhibit, complete with water features, a raised walkway and glassed-in viewing station.
“Big cats are definitely a draw, and it’s something we’ve been working for for years and years now,” zoo curator Bonnie Breitbeil said.
This comes a little more than one month after a deadly tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. Officials promise to make the new enclosure as escape-proof as possible.
“We’ll relook at all our plans. We have an excellent safety record out here, and we do everything conservatively,” Breitbeil said.
Siberian leopards are the biggest cats the zoo currently has to offer. Patrons said they’re excited about a tiger exhibit.
“That’s awesome because I love tigers. That’s my favorite animal, and they get my attention because they’re so big and pretty, and I just want to play with them,” Jackie Diekman said.
Curators said the group that decides which zoos throughout the United States get the Sumatran tigers will also decides whether they’re appropriate to have a companion breeding program. That’s the Central Florida Zoo’s ultimate goal.
Officials hope to have the tigers here in two years.

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