Land of the Lions

ZSL London Zoo is breaking ground on a brand new £5.2m exhibit for one of the world’s most endangered big cats and Paragon Creative will be working closely with ZSL and Buxtons (the main contractor) to undertake the theming and rock work.

Land of the Lions will open in spring 2016, and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions, of which only 400 remain in the wild.

Work on the new exhibit has now begun, covering more than 2,500sqm (27,00sqft), and will be five times the size of the previous enclosure. The project is expected to take 16 months to complete, adding a world-class new development to ZSL London Zoo.

Making the most of ZSL’s incredible range of expertise, Land of the Lions has been designed with zookeepers and conservationists to ensure that the Asiatic lions’ every need have been met.

Giving millions of people the chance to get up-close to the big cats, visitors to Land of the Lions will be able to see just how closely humans and lions live in the Gir Forest, with tantalising glimpses of the lions’ habitat appearing throughout a bustling Indian ‘village’.

Embarking on an entrancing journey celebrating the vibrant culture of the lion’s native home, visitors will then reach the heart of the exhibit – the national park. Inspired by the landscape of the Gir Forest, visitors will come face-to-face with the breath-taking big cats in the 360° lions’ den.

“Paragon is thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious £533,000 contract. It’s a great niche piece of work for our in house multi-disciplined team to undertake,” says Mark Pyrah, CEO of Paragon Creative.

“Being able to make a real difference to the lives of these wonderful creatures as well as educating and inspiring the millions of Zoo visitors to help protect these iconic big cats from the very real threat of extinction is a huge honour.

“We are proud to be a small part of the mission to save the Asiatic lion.”