Spectrum Metalcraft employees can be proud to say that they were a part of the latest Rolling Hills Zoo exhibit, Pride of the Prairie, that officially opened to the public on Aug. 5, 2022. Mimicking the savanna grasslands of Africa, the native tallgrass prairies of Kansas served as the inspiration for the new African lion experience, which encompasses nearly 20,000 sq. ft. This new exhibit doubles the size of the lions’ original outdoor yard and includes a massive 180° view visitors’ cave, a new indoor habitat and additional off-exhibit housing.
From inside the immersive rocky cave viewing area, guests will experience face-to-face encounters with the lion pride from the safety of the cave’s viewing area. In the future, this space could serve as a den for a lioness and her cubs during their first few months of life, while offering a “first look” of the new cubs. A special training window inside the cave will allow guests to be just feet away as animal care staff safely perform daily husbandry with the lions, all part of the exemplary care given to each animal at the zoo.
“They can literally come nose-to-nose with you at the windows, which is a fun experience,” said Linda Henderson, Rolling Hills Zoo’s Director of Development and Marketing.
Spectrum was contacted in the beginning stages of the project and asked to provide frames for the many viewing windows and skylights. After several meetings with Rolling Hills Zoo representatives and their contractors to review design requirements and scope, the Spectrum CAD team created the files for production. Once drawings were complete and approved, the decision was made to utilize a tube laser to manufacture the components, resulting in maximum efficiency and precision. With some of the components requiring intricate locating of studs and anchors, Spectrum’s skilled team of welders completed the product with attention to detail. From there, each frame was then sent to Valmont for galvanizing, where the supply chain team was able to obtain a shorter lead time than what was normally provided.
“The support for this project is nothing short of amazing, and I’m really excited to see the Pride of the Prairie enjoyed by Zoo visitors and our lions for years to come,” said Ryan VanZant, Rolling Hills Zoo’s Executive Director.
About Spectrum :
Spectrum Metalcraft, a company of Vortex Global, is a full-service custom metal fabrication and component manufacturing shop. We offer a wide variety of fabrication capabilities including, lasers, robotic welders, blasting booths, and liquid and powder paint systems. Other services provided by Spectrum Metalcraft include cutting, electropolishing, welding, braking, finishing and assembly services. Formerly Kasa Fab, Spectrum Metalcraft was acquired by Vortex Global in 2018 and provides fabrication solutions around the world.