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Case Studies - Channel 4 Feature State-of-the-Art Tiger Enclosure at Chester Zoo

Channel 4 Feature State-of-the-Art Tiger Enclosure at Chester Zoo

Hampton's chain link fencing forms Chester Zoo's state-of-the-art Sumatran tiger enclosure.

Watch Channel 4's 'The Secret Life of a Zoo' shown on Tuesdays at 8pm to see the full story unfold and experience the animal's settling into their new homes. View here at Channel 4's website. The series started on 2nd February and there are 6 episodes.

It’s been four years in the planning but the end of 2015 saw Chester Zoo realise some of their new and perhaps most spectacular, state-of-the-art animal enclosures. The relocation and construction of the new expansive Sumatran Tiger enclosure fenced with Hampton’s chain link was probably one of the most complicated. It took the extensive experience of I.P. Jones, contractors, to meet the intricate, detailed German designs. Fence heights needed to take into consideration the tiger’s impressive jump capability of over seven metres and climb potential of five metres. With over 200sq metres of space, it was also imperative that the new enclosure incorporated enough viewing points for visitors to ‘experience’ the tigers without compromising on the requirements of the enclosure. So, whilst functionality came first, aesthetics were a big consideration, providing as natural an environment as possible.

Manipulating Hampton’s 3.55 galvanised chain link to form the curved upper sections of the fencing required expert engineering and adherence to complex specifications, an area where I.P. Jones, excel with each individual post requiring slight adjustments to ensure the correct straining and tensioning of the fencing system.

The result of all this hard work is now complete on the ‘Islands’ at Chester Zoo. Some of the new enclosure’s features include a deeper pool and a stream allowing visitors a chance to catch the tigers bathing. Other features include two feeding poles; keepers can place meat up high so the tigers have to climb for their food, as they often would in the wild. They use all their muscles during this exercise so it’s a great way to keep them fit.

Since there are fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild; perpetuation of those in captivity is all the more important. Visitors to Chester Zoo now have the opportunity to observe these majestic big cats within an equally formidable and impressive enclosure.

Hampton’s Chain link is available in a variety of specifications and finishes, in addition to the galvanised finish required for the tigers. Hampton’s black plastic coated chain link has been used for several other enclosures at Chester Zoo including those for the Anoa, Cassowary, Banteng and the Visayan Warty Pigs.