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Tigers make tracks to heated rocks at Edinburgh Zoo

28 October, 2016

Endangered tigers are being treated to a warmer den at Edinburgh Zoo with the help of our 200W heating mats.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo recently invested in a new enclosure for an adult breeding pair of Sumatran tigers. The state of the art enclosure named ‘Tiger Tracks’ is triple the size of their old home, with heated areas to mimic the warmth of their native Indonesia.

The enclosure required the best possible finish for these precious animals, which led the zoo to install Heat Mat’s high-quality underfloor heating (UFH) in the den. Opened in June 2016, the £0.5m Tiger Tracks enclosure features a spectacular ground level viewing tunnel for visitors, covered pathways, feeding post and cubbing den. The immersive facility also boasts climbing structures, ponds to splash in, a new indoor house and heated rocks to relax on, courtesy of Heat Mat.

The zoo approached Heat Mat to develop a heating solution for three dens that range in size from 1.87m2 - 7.84m2. The heating mats are the latest the zoo has specified from Heat Mat. Meerkats and Pandas are already enjoying the benefits of their UFH systems fitted within their enclosures. Heat Mat has worked with other zoos including ZSL Whipsnade and Dartmoor Zoo to provide enclosure heating for a variety of species such as Monkeys, Tapirs and Lions.

Heat Mat’s team of specialists advised the zoo on the best system to fit within Tiger Tracks and supplied the products via the zoo’s wholesaler, Ross Electrical, in Sighthill Edinburgh. High output 200W heating mats have been fitted on top of concrete plinths, beneath bonded sand and soil inside three of the tiger’s dens and another in the cubbing box, providing a comfortable environment for them to relax in. The zoo’s staff can easily control the UFH using Heat Mat’s intelligent NGTouch thermostats.

Tiger Tracks is an impressive enclosure intended to be as close as possible to the pair’s natural environment and a spacious, stimulating home. Sumatran tigers are rapidly losing their natural habitats and prey; less than 400 now exist in the wild, making conservation and breeding success in captivity crucial to their survival. 200W heating mats were the ideal choice to keep these majestic animals warm and mimic their natural habitat. Heated rocks encourage Baginda and Jambi outside regardless of the weather and UFH keeps their dens cosy year round. With previous experience of heating outdoor and indoor animal enclosures, Heat Mat was the obvious choice to assist the zoo. “We wanted to use the market leaders in underfloor electric heating and the zoo keepers prefer to keep to the same suppliers once the first system had been proven,” says Stephen McNamee, Senior Electrician, Edinburgh Zoo.

The new Tiger Tracks enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo

Heated rocks and dens provide extra home comfort for Tigers at Edinburgh Zoo.

The state of the art Tiger Tracks enclosure

The state of the art Tiger Tracks enclosure.

The new enclosure has 3 heated dens and a cubbing box

The new enclosure has 3 heated dens and a cubbing box, along with heated rocks for tigers to relax on.

Endangered Sumatran Tiger Baginda at Edinburgh Zoo

Sumatran tiger Baginda at Edinburgh Zoo.

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The system was installed by the Zoo’s expert electrical team with support from Heat Mat. The high output 200W heating mats sit on top of concrete panels within the following spaces providing differing heat outputs:

Cubbing box - 310W
Den 1 - 1,438W
Den 2 - 1,291W
Den 3 - 1,291W