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“Attica! Attica! Attica!”

If the one cause you go to the Lincoln Park Zoo is for the Christmas lights show, now there’s one more reason: To try the historic Lion House.

Even now we have to confess the Lion House was fairly miserable. It smelled unhealthy. It was crowded. It was noisy. And you may’t assist however really feel unhealthy for the beasts behind the wire ready for that massive litter field within the sky. The solely cause to go in throughout ZooLights was to make use of the loos. Which additionally smelled unhealthy, had been crowded and noisy, and also you couldn’t assist however really feel unhealthy for the individuals ready in line for the porcelain litter bins within the basement.

That’s all prior to now, because of a $41,000,000 renovation of what’s now referred to as the Pepper Family Wildlife Center. Designed by Goettsch Partners, the previous lion home has been spruced up, and doubled in dimension, whereas preserving the present constructing. According to a press launch:

November, 2021 photo of the Pepper Family Wildlife Center at the Lincoln Park Zoo. (© Tom Harris. Courtesy of Goettsch Partners.)
November, 2021 picture of the Pepper Family Wildlife Center on the Lincoln Park Zoo. (© Tom Harris. Courtesy of Goettsch Partners.)
Jabari says hi at the Lincoln Park Zoo in November, 2021. (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners.)
Jabari is the mane attraction on the Lincoln Park Zoo. (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners.)

The design group labored intently with the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to protect, restore and improve the architecturally vital options of the authentic Arts and Crafts construction, together with the masonry, clay tile roof, and copper gutter, together with home windows and doorways.

That’s for the individuals. For the critters, it will get even higher:

The savanna-style habitat consists of detailed rockwork to introduce climbing options and broaden environmental choices for the lions whereas offering embedded heating and cooling parts for local weather management. Tree buildings and deadfall are comprised of timber licensed by the Forest Stewardship Council, and meals ziplines, simulating prey, present an enrichment alternative for the lions.

If you suppose a “food zipline” is nice concept for Thanksgiving dinner, keep in mind Aunt Marjorie’s forking incident of 2008. And she’s not any quicker nowadays.

Looking on the lions is completed by means of 1½-inch-thick glass, to maintain the kitties secure from the kiddies. And now there’s a “Lion Loop” which lets you go underground and search for on the massive cats.

The cat home is dwelling to lions, snow leopards, lynx, and crimson pandas. Which aren’t pandas. They’re sorta-kinda associated to skunks.

Another good cause to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo is as a result of it’s nonetheless freaking free. At a time when taking the household to the Field Museum and lunch downtown requires a second mortgage, the zoo is a discount, and one thing of which all Chicagoans needs to be proud.

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