Tigers in Geldrop-Mierlo zoo have new larger enclosure

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Of course, there is a secure fence around the brand new tiger enclosure of Dierenrijk in Geldrop-Mierlo. But those who dare can go paddling right next to the rare Amur tiger. On Wednesday, the park will open a new tiger enclosure, a new water playground and a new elephant enclosure.

The park will also be called Eindhoven Zoo from now on. According to Sander van der Heul, manager of the zoo, years of hard work have gone into the new enclosures. The tigers used to be behind glass. Now they can look out into the world freely and their enclosure has become three times as big. “We are very proud of it. We have added hills and water. The Amur tiger likes to lie on a hill to survey its territory. And this tiger really likes to swim, unlike most cats.”

“The park currently has one Amur tiger, but a second one is on its way. You are eye to eye with the tigers. However, the habitat is designed in such a way that the tiger can choose not to show itself. This also makes it a bit more exciting for the public; sometimes you have to look for them,” explains Van der Heul. The water playground has been specially made accessible for children in wheelchairs. “You can really get the idea that you are bathing in the same water as the tigers.”

The Amur tiger comes from the far east of Russia. There are only five hundred of them left in the wild. “We are dealing with a loss of biodiversity. We want to reconnect people with nature. Hopefully we can inspire them to protect it. When the weather is nice, you can see these tigers swimming. We are quite unique in that.”

New Elephants

The Asian elephant is also endangered. With a new enclosure, the zoo wants to welcome a new elephant to expand the herd. “The European Association of Zoos has new standards for breeding Asian elephants,” says Van der Heul. “So we had to prepare for this for the future. The area is now divided into compartments.”

This makes it possible to separate the elephant in the event of pregnancy, for example. “There are natural separations, so the elephants do not always have to see each other,” Van der Heul emphasizes. “Sometimes they also have conflicts. They can then walk to the other side of the enclosure for a while and stand out of sight. This does make it more exciting for the visitors; sometimes you have to look for them. But here, animal welfare comes first.”

Full-fledged zoo

Dierenrijk will be called Eindhoven Zoo from Wednesday. “We think this name is a better fit for the zoo we are now,” says Van der Heul. “We want to be a fully-fledged zoo that is committed to nature conservation and education. Of course, money has to be made, but owner Libema invests a large part of that back into the parks.”

At the moment, Eindhoven Zoo attracts around 260,000 visitors per year. Around 16,000 people have a subscription. The park also hopes that expats in the Eindhoven region will find the zoo more attractive. “That also plays a role, of course. But more importantly, people will be more aware that we are located near Eindhoven.” All existing signage will be adjusted in the coming period.


Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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