Two new pavilions will be built in the Moscow Zoo – The Arctic and Amazonia. They will be located in different parts of the zoo. The Arctic pavilion will be on the zoo’s new territory in place of the polar bear enclosure and the Zoo Depot pavilion, both of which will be taken down. The Amazonia pavilion will go up on the zoo’s old premises in place of the Tropical Felidae pavilion and several dilapidated enclosures that will be demolished.
The new pavilions will be able to accommodate wild animals year round. Inhabitants of the soon-to-be dismantled enclosures and pavilions will be resettled. Climatic conditions in Amazonia and the Arctic will be as close to the natural habitat as possible.
“No other Russian zoo can boast similar climate-controlled facilities. Neither can other countries of the former Soviet Union. We adopted the practice of Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The new pavilions will be the corridor to other natural zones with a different climate. Ambitious work is to be done, which includes planning, designing, searching for investors, construction and assembly. These complexes will provide the most comfortable conditions for our animals and a unique opportunity for Moscow Zoo visitors to travel to hot and humid South America and the harsh, frozen Arctic at any time of the year,” said Sveltana Akulova, general director of the Moscow Zoo.
According to Akulova, a general construction concept is in the works and talks with potential contractors are ongoing. In 2018, the pavilions’ design plans will be drafted. The construction is to be completed by 2021.
The Amazonia pavilion will be inhabited by animals that naturally live in areas with a tropical and subtropical climate – tapirs, jaguars, manatees, tortoises, snakes and lizards. Over a hundred species of trees, flowers and shrubs will be planted there. The temperature in Amazonia will stay at 24-26 degrees above zero in all seasons. As for the Arctic pavilion, it will accommodate polar bears, snowy owls, Arctic foxes and fish of cold northern seas. The temperature will be fixed at minus 5-7 degrees throughout the year. Warm blankets and mittens will be handed out at the entrance to the pavilion.
The Moscow Zoo began improving and renovating its facilities, including buildings and pavilions, last year. This year, the exposition The Birds of Prey Rock opened on the old territory following upgrading. The Klyuyev House, which reopened after renovations, has been hosting lectures in biology, zoology and art. The children’s zoo is also being redeveloped. It will include a farm, exhibition pavilions, enclosures with alpacas, aviaries (huge enclosures for birds) and a fountain. It is expected to open by the end of 2018.
Next year, work will start to create Europe’s largest insectarium. All year round, guests will be able to listen to crickets and grasshoppers singing and watch lightning bugs twinkle and tropical butterflies fly. The collection of the Moscow insectarium is going to be the largest in Russia with some 200 species. It will be housed in a three-storey building of 2,000 square metres on the old premises.
By 2019, the zoo will get a new modern pavilion called Pinnipeds where sea lions and walruses will live.
On 1 December, the Moscow Zoo switched to its winter opening hours. Visitors are welcome from 9 am to 5 pm, but the ticket offices close at 4 pm. Entrance is not allowed after 4 pm.