We’re big animal lovers over here at PLG – so imagine our delight when we were asked to work with Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire on the refurbishment of their jaguar enclosure. As a leading European zoo with emphasis on education and conservation, Paradise Wildlife Park aims to provide its animals with the best possible environments in which to thrive. That’s where Peterlee Glass comes in.
Taking inspiration from other successful installations at high profile animal enclosures (such as the lion sanctuary at London Zoo, for example), we have worked with Paradise to create the perfect home for their beloved jaguar couple, Kumal and Kedera. Glass panels are, of course, an essential part of zoo enclosures as they provide an infinitely more immersive experience for visitors than caging – glass is essentially the closest we can get to ‘barrier free’ viewing, and can create a feeling of closeness with wild animals that hasn’t been experienced by members of the general public until fairly recently.
The ability for visitors to watch the jaguars behaving as they would in the wild informed a lot of the enclosure design at Paradise. As jaguars love to climb, the new enclosure includes trees and upstairs viewing platforms. We knew that the glass panels we provided needed to be large to create a more panoramic view of the animals, thus improving the visitors’ ability to observe them. However, though it’s great for us humans, some commercial glass can prove stressful for the animals involved, as they don’t like to see their own reflections. Luckily, we were able to provide Paradise’s jaguars with anti-reflective glass, creating a more comfortable environment for them. This works both ways, reducing the glare on the outside, too, again giving visitors a better look at the main event.
Another key factor in creating the enclosure was that the specialist glass had to be extremely safe, for everyone from the jaguars themselves to the zoo’s staff and visitors. To ensure optimum durability, the glass we provided was laminated, meaning that it remains intact on impact. Laminated glass has a host of other benefits, too, especially for the wildlife. It improves sound control, too, which can be better for animals’ mental health.
Kumal and Kedera will be moving back into their new and improved enclosure in February 2022, and we can’t wait for updates on how they settle in. The couple are part of the European Breeding Programme for Endangered Species and it’s hoped that the space provided in their new home will give them the confidence to have more cubs.
At PLG, this is the sort of project we thrive on; a complex combination of requirements completed to a really high specification. We’re a specialist glass supplier and can provide laminated, anti-reflective glass across the UK, so get in touch today for a chat about your specialist glass requirements. If there are big cats involved, all the better!