The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is expanding. The Decatur Park District Board of Commissioners approved an agreement to construct a new Mountain Lion Exhibit and Camel Holding Building.
The new outdoor exhibit will be two-thousand square feet in size and will feature rock outcroppings, ponds, caves, and a glass viewing area for patrons to observe the mountain lions. In addition, there will be an interactive area where zookeepers can feed and train these majestic creatures.
The Scovill Zoo Director, Ken Frye, expressed his excitement for the growth of the zoo with the addition of the Mountain Lion Exhibit. He mentioned that the zoo staff is humbled by this gift and is eager to share the new exhibit with the community of Decatur and Central Illinois.
The mountain lion, also known as puma, cougar, or panther, is a fascinating creature. These cats can reach a length of up to seven feet and weigh around 150 pounds. They are agile climbers, capable of leaping up to 18 feet into trees, and are excellent sprinters over short distances.
Alongside the mountain lion exhibit, the project includes a new animal holding building. This building will serve as a home for the mountain lions when they are not on exhibit. Additionally, it will provide a new indoor holding space for the zoo's existing camels, Jack and Fin.
Funding for this expansion project came from private donations. The anticipated completion date for the construction is August 2024. This development is an exciting step forward for the Scovill Zoo, allowing visitors to experience and appreciate the beauty and wonder of these remarkable animals.