After lunch by Philadelphia Zoo’s Bird Lake, a large “lake” in the middle of the zoos grounds where visitors can ride in swan paddle boats, we strolled into Big Cat Falls. An award winning exhibit, Big Cat Falls houses twelve big cats from around the world. Walking along winding paths you pass spacious enclosures filled with waterfalls, streams, pools, caves and indigenous plants from each of the species natural environments. One of the most fascinating aspects of Big Cat Falls is the ability to switch the cats from one enclosure to another. Why is this so amazing, you ask? The ability to transfer different cats into different enclosures provides enrichment to each of the animals. Experiencing different sights, structures, plants as well as smells from the other cats who have previously been there allows individual animal’s stimulus that evokes their interest as well as natural behaviours. I’m a huge advocate for enrichment for all zoo animals as it provides them with a more well-balanced life in captivity.
Within Big Cat Falls is a marvellous interactive exhibit between enclosures, where kids and adults alike can play games, trivia and learn from displays about these majestic creatures, their natural habitats and how we can save them from extinction.