Cat house coming to Turtleback Zoo

WEST ORANGE - A new cat house is opening at Turtleback Zoo in Essex County that will feature endangered felines.

The cougars, Amur leopard, snow leopards and jaguars will all be featured as part of the exhibit. The exhibit, called Big Cat Country, is going to be paired with another new exhibit, featuring zip lines and rope obstacles.

The two exhibits are expected to cost the county-owned zoo $3 million. The zoo director says new exhibits increase attendance and revenue by up to 20 percent. He says the zoo is already a money maker that doesn't take a bite out of the county budget.

The Big Cat Country exhibit is expected to open in September. Zoo officials say the zip-line adventure and rope course should be ready in August.

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