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Project information

Margay Enclosure Rebuild

As part of the ongoing improvements here at Shaldon Zoo we are planning to rebuild our Margay enclosure. These beautiful and elusive spotted cats are native to the Americas. They are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting; around 14,000 Margay are trapped each year for the fur trade.

3+ Months

Charity information: Shaldon Wildlife Trust

Shaldon Wildlife Trust logo
  • Need


    The current Margay enclosure is in the old part of the zoo, which is the next area that we are planning to update. While suitable for the species the enclosure really needs to be updated in order to improve the habitat for the cats and have it more closely resemble their natural habitat, in the hope that this will encourage our pair of Margays to breed successfully.


    We always aim to uphold the very highest standards of husbandry possible for our animals and feel a complete redesign of this enclosure is the best possible way for us to achieve this for this particular species.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    1. To redesign and rebuild the Margay enclosure, providing the best habitat possible for them


    » Redesign the enclosure
    » Reconstruct and remove the existing enclosure
    » Build the new enclosure

    What success will look like

    We will be proactive in promoting the project both during and after it's completion.

    Aim 2

    To facilitate successful breeding of our Margay pair


    » Improve the habitat and by so doing, the natural behaviour of the animals, which in turn we hope will lead to successful mating resulting in young.

    What success will look like

    We will be proactive in promoting the birth of any Margay and sharing valuable information with other collections housing the species

  • Impact


    The hope is that the completion of the new enclosure will lead to increased animal welfare, will encourage the pair to breed successfully. Both of these will be self evident. We also hope that by promoting the project via The Big Give and while the the build is happening we will be able to increase visitors to the zoo, which in turn, will allow us to continue to educate the public about conservation, and also to continue our vital international conservation work.


    The main risk to this project is not being able to raise the funds to complete it. As this is not an option we will remain highly proactive in securing funds with a worse case scenario being that we have to postpone the start of the project


    We will report to donors via our Facebook page, our website and local media and also to the zoo community via the BIAZA (British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,000 Removal Demolition and Site Clearnance
      £8,000 Build Custom house, off show cubbing den and public viewing area
      £4,000 Landscaping Landscaping, dense forest planting and water feature
      £6,000 Build Outside enclosure
      £750 Electical Installation of lights,heating and security
      £250 Signage Signs including species information including conservation efforts plus H&S warning signs
  • Background


    Set in an acre of woodland garden above the attractive south Devon coastal village of Shaldon, we look after, and help preserve, some of the rarest and most endangered animals in the world. Our work appeals to all socio-economic groups and demographics. We find we are particularly able to engage with a very young audience and run outreach projects for local schools. We also pride ourselves on welcoming those with special needs to come and be a part of our invaluable volunteer team.


    First and foremost the Margay will benefit from a new and much improved habitat. The public will benefit by being able to enjoy the new exhibit. The increased footfall to the zoo will allow us to spend more money on our in-situ conservation projects worldwide, which will benefit whole species of animals - some critically endangered. Our staff, interns and volunteers will benefit from being involved in this project. The Trust will benefit from increased media coverage surrounding the project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We currently house a breeding (although as yet unsuccessfully due to a lack of a second house to separate the young and female from the male) pair of the endangered Margay.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Zak Showell

    Zak is our Zoo Director who will be the primary person for this project. He will take a hands on role as well being project manager

    Carly Murray

    Carly will be the secondary person in this project taking a hands on role whilst also ensuring the smooth running of the zoo

    Clare Morgan

    Our administrator will be the primary person promoting fund raising via The Big Give.

    Julie Matthews

    Our Education & Research Officer will be taking a hands on role in the new build project