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Jaguar Zoo Exhibit

A re-designed exhibit based on research and biology.

A remarkable highlight of the Jaguar Zoo Exhibit project was the experience of entering the existing jaguar enclosure alongside a zookeeper. During this unique interaction, the jaguars engaged in playful activities with balls sprayed with their favorite perfume, Obsession by Calvin Klein. This hands-on encounter provided invaluable insights into the feline residents' behaviors and preferences, forming a foundational understanding that would inform the exhibit's design.

Embarking on the journey of conceptualizing a jaguar exhibit for the Phoenix Zoo, this project seamlessly intertwined meticulous research with innovative design. The endeavor began with in-depth and holistic research, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of the intricate elements that contribute to an exemplary zoo exhibit. This initial exploration culminated in the creation of three rubrics, delineating the benchmarks for standard, good, and exemplary zoo exhibits, forming a dynamic checklist for assessment, design, and evaluation.

Guided by this comprehensive tool, the subsequent design phase unfolded, resulting in an exemplary jaguar exhibit that not only met the established criteria but also surpassed them.

Key elements of the exhibit include separate paths for both visitors and jaguars, intertwining in a carefully choreographed dance. Water features, a barn with one-way glass for intimate jaguar observation, a zip line for enrichment, retreat areas for the jaguars, Costa Rican art, and a life-size jaguar statue in a tree contribute to the immersive ambiance. Additionally, a Costa Rican schoolhouse within the exhibit serves as an educational hub, offering valuable insights into the lives of jaguars and providing a dedicated space for school groups.

This design not only adheres to the rubric's criteria for excellence but also encapsulates a harmonious blend of education, enrichment, and cultural representation.