The Staten Island Zoo unveiled its new $3,545,000 million Amur Leopard Exhibit last November after 12 years of planning. The exhibit is now the home to leopards - Valeri, Kolya and Fitty. Capital funds were allocated by former Mayor Bloomberg through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Zoo revealed it's plans back in the fall of 2012 when the Zoo celebrated its 75th anniversary. The exhibit is 4,500-square feet and three-stories tall, replicating the leopards' natural habitat. Their new home consists of: real and fake trees for climbing, heated rocks for relaxing, and a pond. The zoo now has one of the largest exhibits for Amur leopards in the country.
The Amur Leopard is the world's rarest cat and is also known as the Far Eastern leopard. It is believed there are only 25-40 in the wild and 200 in captivity. The Staten Island Zoo is a participant in the Species Survival Program (SSP), "an initiative of the national Association of Zoos and Aquarium to endangered species population."
Conservation Carousel - Expected to open late Spring 2014.
The Staten Island Zoo's mission regarding their new family members "is to identify Amur leopard population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied population. Visitors to this natural exhibit may feel an appreciation of the issues that endanger wildlife habitats, which is part of the Zoo’s mission of conservation education."
“This is going to be a focal point of the zoo for quite a while,” said Staten Island Zoo President William Frew Jr, in a press release. “Tell your friends, your family to come and enjoy a day at the zoo.”
Fantasia is a 20-years-old albino burmese python and measures at 23 feet long
In the late Spring, the Zoo will be expected to open its $1.4 million dollar project - Conservation Carousel. The Carousel features the likelieness to endangered species that children learn about throughout the zoo.
The Zoo also welcomed Fantasia to its famous reptile room a couple of months back in February. Fantasia is "New York City's foremost and largest burmese python," courtesy of the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
The Staten Island Zoo is definitely preparing for the summer with its new additions throughout the grounds.