The Oregon Zoo has opened a new exhibit that’s unlike anything most zoo-goers have seen before. It highlights some really amazing felines, but not the big cats most people are expecting.
Their newest exhibit is called the “Family Farm Catio.” It will feature adoptable cats of the domestic variety so that visitors have a chance to meet some of the more cuddly zoo occupants.
The Oregon Zoo catio news release explains, “The catio is part of an ongoing partnership between Banfield and the zoo that includes camps, an enrichment guide for big and little cats, and Big Cat Care, the zoo's lion keeper talk and enrichment demonstration.”
The catio includes comfortable chairs and cushions for kitty naps and mostly resembles your typical front porch. The habitat is enclosed using mesh screen so that the cats are safely secured inside, but they also get the outdoor experience.
The Oregon Zoo is hoping to teach visitors about cats as well as how to create a fun catio environment, and even hoping that it might inspire a few patrons to adopt a cat of their own.
Currently, “Catio residents Betty and Buddy came to the zoo from the Pixie Project, a Portland animal adoption and rescue center. Buddy, a loveable orange tabby, is the resident catio ambassador and will help socialize adoptable foster cats from the Pixie Project shelter. Betty will be available to a loving home through the Pixie Project's foster and adopt program after spending a little time settling in,” explains the Oregon Zoo.
According to an Oregon Zoo story, Brianne Zanella, a keeper at the zoo's Family Farm, says, "The catio represents a couple things that are really at the heart of the Oregon Zoo's mission, as well as our work with Banfield and the Pixie Project. One is animal welfare, and the other is education."
What a great way to engage audiences of all ages!
Image via: Oregon Zoo Facebook
Read More: Top Ten Reasons You Should Adopt a Cat