Wichita’s Newest Attraction: Asian Big Cat Trek at Sedgwick County Zoo


This article is sponsored by Sedgwick County Zoo.

There’s a new adventure to be had at the Sedgwick County Zoo – with a 17,000 square foot habitat and four furry new faces! 

The Slawson Family Asian Big Cat Trek opened last month as an expansion of the former Tiger Trek, and now all of the Asian big cats at the Zoo can be seen in the same area. The Asian Big Cat Trek brings Snow Leopards to the Zoo for the first time, drastically increases the space for Amur Leopards, and features improvements to the Amur Tiger and Red Panda habitats. 

The previous Amur Leopard habitat was built four decades ago and was one of the last remaining “cage-style” exhibits at the Zoo. The Strategic Master Plan that was unveiled in 2018 leaned heavily on the goal of increasing space for all animals in the Zoo, so naturally, the leopard habitat was included in phase one of construction. The old leopard space is now a picnic deck available for event rentals, and the leopards now enjoy a habitat that spans more than ten times the size of the original. 

The expansion allowed the Zoo to bring in two additional Amur Leopards, Lev and Storm. They join Emerald, who has been at the Zoo for many years. The Zoo was also able to introduce Snow Leopards for the very first time, Jata (pronounced “ya-zha”) and Tashi. All of these additions are with conservation and population growth of both species in mind, meaning the Zoo could soon have cubs enjoying the beautiful new space as well. The habitat was built to be able to comfortably house up to ten leopards at one time. 

One walk through the new habitat makes it clear just how much space is now available for these big cats to enjoy. The path winds through four yards connected by a series of overhead pathways that the cats love to lounge on so be sure to look up when you’re there!

The habitat was designed with animal welfare and guest experience as top priorities. The leopards have ample space to roam, plenty of shade and places to sneak away for a nap, while also being visible to guests nearly everywhere they go.

The new leopard pathway leads to the existing Tiger Trek, through the tiger observation building, and out through what used to be the entrance. 

The Zoo has seen so much recent growth that no matter how often you visit, you’re sure to see something new each time. Come by to meet the new leopards and also be sure to check out the newly expanded venomous gallery in the Amphibians & Reptiles building, the brand new Zoo Store, and the new African mixed species yard where zebra, warthogs, and blue cranes roam together.

We can’t wait to see you at the Zoo!

The Sedgwick County Zoo is dedicated to inspiring respect and conservation for wildlife and wild places. Home to nearly 3,000 animals of more than 400 different species, SCZ has been recognized with national and international awards for its support of field conservation programs and successful breeding of rare and endangered species. Opened in 1971, it has been ranked among the best zoos in the country and is the No. 1 outdoor family tourist attraction in Kansas. 

The Sedgwick County Zoo is a not-for-profit organization, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a global leader in wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

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