Officials at Lincoln Park Zoo hope a $41 million renovation will make the former lion house into the new centerpiece of the facility.
The Pepper Family Wildlife Center is slated to open to the public later this fall, according to zoo officials, but an exact date hasn't been announced. The Chicago Tribune reports that the lions' new habitat will provide twice as much space, including trees and elevated rocks for climbing.
A pride of four lions — a male and three females — have not arrived at the zoo yet.
Curator of Mammals Mike Murray says a key feature is a zipline system to deliver food, encouraging the lions to chase and “hunt” it.
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The renovation began in December 2019.
The space also will include habitats for Canada lynx, snow leopard and red panda.