The Decatur Park District Board of Commissioners gave the green light on Wednesday, November 15th, for the construction of an innovative Mountain Lion Exhibit and Camel Holding Building at Scovill Zoo. The expansive two-thousand-square-foot outdoor exhibit promises an immersive experience, featuring rock outcroppings, ponds, caves, and a special glass viewing area for patrons. Notably, an interactive zone will allow zookeepers to engage with the mountain lions through feeding and training sessions.
Expressing enthusiasm for the expansion is Scovill Zoo Director, Ken Frye he said that the Scovill Zoo is thrilled to contribute to the ongoing expansion of the zoo by introducing a new Mountain Lion Exhibit. The Scovill Zoo team is grateful for this opportunity and eagerly anticipates showcasing the exhibit to Decatur and Central Illinois.
The majestic mountain lion, known by various names such as puma, cougar, and panther, is set to be a star attraction. With the ability to reach up to seven feet in length and weigh 150 pounds, these cats are known for their remarkable agility, capable of leaping 18 feet into trees and displaying impressive sprinting abilities over short distances.
As part of the project, a new animal holding building will be constructed to provide a comfortable off-exhibit space for the mountain lions. Additionally, the existing camels, Jack and Fin, at Scovill Zoo will benefit from a new indoor holding space.
Funding for this project comes from private donations, showcasing strong community support for the zoo's expansion. Construction is slated for completion by August 2024, promising a thrilling new experience for zoo visitors and a state-of-the-art facility for the featured animals.