Melbourne Zoo Predators underway

May 16, 2014

The Predators experience features a number of heightened sensory experiences. One of those is delivered within the canopy of an enormous Ficus tree, transplanted from within the Zoo grounds. With a canopy of over 20Ms this Fig provides enough natural shade for both visitors and animals and represents a place of ‘refuge’ within the grasslands where the visitor has a an up-close experience of the Lions on one side, and African wild dogs on the other. Immersed in the open grasslands landscape the Fig represents a ‘refuge’ and heightens the visitors appreciation of being in the position of the ‘prey’.



The Fig was prepared months in advance before a unique technique was used to lift the 120 ton tree and roll through a prepared earth ramp on inflatable ‘rollers’ into its new position in the exhibit, allowing the remainder of the exhibit bulk earthworks to proceed around it. Ultimately, the time, expense and effort of the transplanting team will deliver a major element of the ‘immersive’ experience for visitors to the Melbourne Zoo ‘Predators exhibit and the sensory experience so important to the Zoo’s conservation message.


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