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winning gin-grr-bread habitat

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Friends of the National Zoo
2013 Gin-GRR-bread Habitat Competition

Stalking in a Zoolights Wonderland

"Tiger stripes laced with snowflakes
A winter evening, cubs are awake!
A beautiful sight,
They're playing outside tonight
Stalking in a ZooLights wonderland!"

This year’s Gin-GRR-bread Habitat Competition celebrates two of our most precious arrivals in 2013 – the birth of two critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs! Let your imagination run wild this winter while you design and build a habitat based on the theme “Stalking in a ZooLights Wonderland”. You may win the grand prize of an exclusive, keeper-led behind the scenes tour of Great Cats!

Read the rules

What Makes a Grr-eat Animal Habitat?

In zoos, animals need:

  • Space to move, climb, swim, and explore. The enclosures at Great Cats have different ground levels, trees and plants, streams and pools, and enrichment objects. Our cat yards have multiple levels for climbing and running, different types of trees and plans, nooks for hiding, and a moat for drinking and bathing - all of which keep our animals healthy and active;
  • Shelter from the heat and cold;
  • Food and someplace to eat;
  • Water and someplace to drink;
Meet Damai, Kavi, and the tiger cubs!


The competition is open to all ages. One grand prize will be awarded to each of the following categories:

  • Family or Youth Team: Teams with children ages 17 and under. Teams must amount to a minimum of 2 participants, but are not to exceed 5 participants. Teams may be comprised entirely of youth, or of adults and youth.
  • Adult Team: Teams of participants ages 18 and over. Teams must amount to a minimum of 2 participants, but are not to exceed 5 participants.
  • Adult Individual: Adults ages 18 or over who are working alone.


Grand Prize:

FONZ will award one Grand Prize to each category winning individual or team: An exclusive keeper-led behind the scenes tour of Great Cats for 10 guests. At least two adults must accompany the tour. Guests will not come into direct contact with animals during the tour.

Honorable Mention:

FONZ will award one Honorable Mention prize to each category runner-up.

How to Enter

Read the rules

One entry per individual, group, or household. Electronic registration is required for this competition. There is a $20 non-refundable fee to enter, which must be made with a credit card during registration. Due to space limitations, FONZ will accept only 80 registrations. Registration will close at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22, or after 80 registrations are received.

Competitors will receive a Confirmation of Registration form including an entry number by email within two (2) business days. You must bring this form with you when you deliver your habitat. You must also include the entry information on the underside of your habitat. Completed entries must be delivered to The National Zoo’s Visitor Center Auditorium between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 23 or the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, 2012. See Entry Intake, Display Information, and Entry Pick-Up information below for details.