Jacksonville, FL, USA — The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announces the grand opening of its newest addition: the Land of the Tiger. A $9.5 million expansion to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ existing Asia precinct, Land of the Tiger will immerse guests in an Asian experience, offering themed sights, sounds, animals and landscaping. This state-of-the-art habitat provides an active experience for visitors and encourages the natural behavior of tigers, while allowing them to safely roam the attraction through a fortified trail system, designed by PJA Architecture and Landscape Architects of Seattle.
A special ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 8. The event will begin with a few words from our keynote speaker Mayor Alvin Brown as well as Executive Director Tony Vecchio, Chair of the Board of the Directors Dr. David Loeb, and Senior Vice President and head of branches for Chase in Jacksonville Steve Vachon.
As part of the Land of the Tiger celebration, the winners of the Zootennial Drawing Contest have been chosen. Elementary schools from Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties were asked to submit drawings of what the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens would look like in 2114. The art contest ran from January 20 to February 21 and the top three winning art pieces will be displayed at the Indoor Tiger Viewing Building. Fifth-grader Joey E., from Mamie Agnes Jones (first place); second grader Morgan M., from Riverside Presbyterian Day School (second place) and second-grader Emory (Harold) D., from Seaside Community Charter School (third place), are the top three artists.
“The creative minds of children are priceless,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “To involve them and form that connection to their community can lead to an inspiring future for them as future leaders, conservationists, and zookeepers.”
Other exhibits in this new area will house Asian small-clawed otters, Visayan warty pigs, babirusa, wrinkled hornbills and wreathed hornbills. Land of the Tiger is part of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ ongoing $12 million 100-year anniversary campaign.