Some of the top predators on the planet live at the Great Cats exhibit—African lions, Sumatran tigers, bobcats and caracals. At each enclosure, visitors can learn about the cats’ characteristics, including social structure, hunting, reproduction, and the Zoo’s efforts to care for and conserve these species.
Three outdoor habitats are home to the Zoo’s lions and tigers. Visitors may catch a glimpse of the cats patrolling the edge of the moat. On hot days, the cats—and Sumatran tigers, in particular—may choose to take a swim! Online visitors can also catch a glimpse of the lions on the Lion Cam, sponsored by Macy's.
The bobcat and caracal enclosures are located adjacent to the lion and tiger exhibits. Like their larger neighbors, these cats’ homes are decked out with lots of trees for climbing, branches for balancing, low plants for hiding, and a shelter for relief from the elements.
The American porcupine enclosure is located just across Olmstead Walk from Great Cats.
A Safe Place to Call Home
All lion and tiger cubs born at the Great Cats exhibit must undergo a swim reliability test and prove that they are able to keep their heads above water, navigate to the shallow end of the moat and climb onto dry land. It's possible that a cub could be playing around and get knocked into the moat by a parent or sibling. Therefore, animal care staff want to make sure that if they find themselves in that situation, they know how to pull themselves out of the water and onto shore. During the swim test, keepers stand guard and gently guide cubs in the right direction.