MONCTON – The Magnetic Hill Zoo’s new tiger enclosure was supposed to be open by mid July, but the project is behind schedule because of the long winter.
Crews did not start building until the end of April.
“There was so much snow and so much frost, and so much against us as far as getting an early start in the early spring for this project. It kind of set us behind right off the start,” said zoo manager, Bruce Dougan.
The $1.4-million project will house the zoo’s two new Amur tigers, as well as an Amur leopard and barn owl exhibit.
The project is only on stage three, of a five-stage building process. Construction crews are building a pool area and concrete retaining walls before plumbing, fencing and glass goes in. The final stage is to install the signage.
It is the biggest and most expensive exhibit the zoo has built.
“The zoo has not experienced building an exhibit of this magnitude, but when you get into an exhibit of this magnitude everything has to be perfectly spec, so you take a lot of time mulling over design,” Dougan said.
Corporate and government partners as well as the Friends of the Zoo group are funding the project. The Friends of the Zoo will be holding a fundraiser Sunday to try and raise the rest of the money it needs to fund the project.
The tiger enclosure is now expected to open in late August or early September.