Fences for sleeping London Zoo lions

folder_openCivic & Public Sector, Sports & Leisure, Zoo & Wildlife

A sleepover with lions is the hottest ticket in the capital, as ZSL London Zoo’s Land of the Lions opened its doors last year for its overnight Gir Lion Lodge Experience – running six nights a week all year.

Land of the Lions, the zoo’s largest project to date, first welcomed visitors at Easter 2016 after being unveiled by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh – 40 years after Her Majesty opened its predecessor, The New Lion Terraces.

The zoo’s newest and most breathtaking exhibit transports visitors from the heart of London to India’s vibrant Sasan Gir, the last stronghold of the Asiatic Lion.  From February, guests can once again bed down for the night in the Gir Lion Lodge, a suite of nine lodges nestled within the exhibit, decorated to mirror the welcoming charm of hotels in the lion’s native habitat.

Asiatic lions had been almost wiped out in India. Still, conservation efforts by the western state of Gujarat over the past 50 years have saved them from extinction, though as few as 500 are thought to be left in the wild in Gujarat’s Gir Forest.

Zookeepers, conservationists and architects collaborated to design Land of the Lions to meet every need of London’s pride of four Asiatic lions.

Inspired by the landscape of the Gir Forest, visitors experience a bustling Indian ‘village’, a ruined temple with a 180° view of the lions’ habitat, and glimpses of the lions’ den from a ‘villagers hut’, where the Asiatic lions, which can sleep 16 hours a day, enjoy their cat-naps.

Hanuman langur monkeys also wander the exhibit, cleverly separated from the lions, contained by 5m high fencing with an overhang.

Senior project manager Robin Fitzgerald: “You have to create those conditions, but not make it look like a mesh enclosure.  So you can see them, you can smell them and really feel like you are amongst them.”

Zaun Group company Binns Fencing is better known for its high-security fencing. However, it has recently finished the new lion enclosure at Longleat, which featured on the BBC’s Animal Park last August.

Three special walkways cover the 2,500 sq m exhibit – half the size of a football pitch – five times the size of the previous enclosure.

They are fitted with high security 358 steel mesh by fencing installer Binns, giving millions of people the best chance to get up close to the big cats from a safe vantage point.

As well as their pride in London, ZSL is also working with local organisations in the Gir to help protect the vital population surviving in the wild.

Gir Lion Lodge offers a unique opportunity to learn more about these majestic animals. Nine lodges are available six nights a week from February to December, with designated family-friendly nights and adult only nights.

The experience includes exclusive after-hours tours of the zoo at sunset, after-dark and in the morning, dinner and breakfast, and access to the zoo on the days before and after the visit.

About Zaun

Zaun is the only in-house British Manufacturer of Woven and Welded Mesh Fencing Systems. For 27 years, they have been the trusted manufacturing partner for sports and physical perimeter security. With a wide range of fencing, gate, and HVM solutions they can offer Protection Through Innovation for your next project.

Located in the West Midlands, they are a privately owned company first formed in 1996 and continuing to promote British manufacturing on the world stage. A proud member of Made in Britain and Made in the West Midlands, Zaun has worked on numerous projects around the world from Border Security and Airports, to Sports and Critical National Infrastructure.

The continued investment in their manufacturing processes and systems has enabled the latest in problem-solving and innovation. At the same time, an approach to ‘The Right People in the Right Places’ puts the customer experience at the heart of their business.

The quality of their wide range of systems is assured through ISO 9001 and third-party certification for high-security and HVM solutions including LPS 1175, Secured by Design, Approved for UK Government Use (NPSA), and PAS 68.

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