Company:
Public Works Agency
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Parks & Recreation Project of the Year
Additional Files
Additional Information

New Ocelot Exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo

Project Location:

The Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E. Chestnut Ave, along the eastern edge of the city of Santa Ana.

Project Description:

The regional focus of the Santa Ana Zoo’s Master Development plan is Central and South America. Ocelots, a small, wild spotted cat found predominantly in this area, are showcased in the new Ocelot Exhibit. The project involved development of approximately a 6,000 square foot area, which included construction of a 280 square foot holding facility, two-500 square foot outdoor habitat areas, walkways, seating, interpretive signage, areas for docent talks, and a small picnic/reception area.

Project Justification:

The exhibit concept was generated through a process called “wallmapping”, an interactive brainstorming process where individual project team members wrote goals, needs, issues and ideas on notecards which were then mounted to the wall where they were categorized, voted upon and prioritized. This information was then incorporated into a series of schematic design overlays which led to the vision which was ultimately developed into Contract Documents.

Habitat spaces were kept shallow, but long, which decreased the visual distance between the animal and visitor and increased the odds of viewing. The habitat is lush with vegetation, allowing the animals areas for recluse, while offering the visitor an interactive game of “hide-and-seek”. Climbing and perching opportunities for the cats were provided with salvaged trees that had to be removed to make way for the exhibit.

One key feature of the design was to come up with a configuration that could accommodate a breeding pair of ocelots, which requires a layout that would allow the adult animals and offspring to be grouped in various combinations. To accomplish this, a shift door system was incorporated between the individual units in the holding facility, with and between the outdoor exhibit areas, allowing for ultimate flexibility.

The exhibit is designed to present the ocelot in context of its natural habitat but at the same time, allow for a connection to be made between this beautiful animal and the zoo visitor. Exhibit features allow visitors of all ages to appreciate the amazing attributes of ocelots in a fun and interactive way. Graphics and an education station help visitor’s further understand how the ocelot makes its living.

This exhibit is important because the Ocelot’s numbers are declining and loss of habitat is a growing problem. The exhibit is designed to house a breeding pair so that the Santa Ana Zoo is prepared to be among the small, select group of zoos that will establish the core of a captive breeding program for these endangered cats. Moreover, the ocelots bred in this core group will be genetically diverse to preserve their natural characteristics and perpetuate a line of vigorous and healthy cats.

Special Circumstances:

The project was made possible by a strong partnership between the City of Santa Ana and the Friends of Santa Ana Zoo (FOSAZ), who provided 100% of the funding.

Project Attachments:

See citation fields below

Award Citation::

The regional focus of the Santa Ana Zoo’s Master Development plan is Central and South America. Ocelots, a small, wild spotted cat found predominantly in this area, are showcased in the new Ocelot Exhibit. The project involved development of approximately a 6,000 square foot area, which included construction of a 280 square foot holding facility, two-500 square foot outdoor habitat areas, walkways, seating, interpretive signage, areas for docent talks, and a small picnic/reception area.

Suggested Award Summary:

The regional focus of the Santa Ana Zoo’s Master Development plan is Central and South America. Ocelots, a small, wild spotted cat found predominantly in this area, are showcased in the new Ocelot Exhibit. The project involved development of approximately a 6,000 square foot area, which included construction of a 280 square foot holding facility, two-500 square foot outdoor habitat areas, walkways, seating, interpretive signage, areas for docent talks, and a small picnic/reception area.

Habitat spaces were kept shallow, but long, which decreased the visual distance between the animal and visitor and increased the odds of viewing. The habitat is lush with vegetation, allowing the animals areas for recluse, while offering the visitor an interactive game of “hide-and-seek”. Climbing and perching opportunities for the cats were provided with salvaged trees that had to be removed to make way for the exhibit.

One key feature of the design was to come up with a configuration that could accommodate a breeding pair of ocelots, which requires a layout that would allow the adult animals and offspring to be grouped in various combinations. To accomplish this, a shift door system was incorporated between the individual units in the holding facility, with and between the outdoor exhibit areas, allowing for ultimate flexibility.

The exhibit is designed to present the ocelot in the context of its natural habitat but at the same time, allow for a connection to be made between this beautiful animal and the zoo visitor. Exhibit features allow visitors of all ages to appreciate the amazing attributes of ocelots in a fun and interactive way. Graphics and an education station help visitor’s further understand how the ocelot makes its living.

CEC

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