The old exhibit, which had been part of the zoo since 1967 has been demolished and replaced with a state-of-the-art enclosure.
Lion Gorge, which forms part of the new Predator Precinct, will bring visitors face-to-face with some of the world's most ferocious and territorial creatures including Lions, African Wild Dogs and the critically endangered Philippine Crocodile. It will provide visitors with a unique experience and take them on a journey of discovery of how these majestic and awe inspiring animals behave and survive in the wild.
Shane Mullen, Site Manager and owner of Tech Glass Installations (Vic) explained that the glass panels for the enclosure were 2.7 metres high and 3.8 metres wide and varied in thickness from 31mm to 42mm and weighed up to 750 kilograms.
"Each panel was placed on an incline and took up to one and a half hours to install into its precise location. It was held in place manually and by the crane while the supportive steel plates were mechanically fixed. Then the adjacent panel was installed."
The panels were made from Grade-A safety glass by leading manufacturer and supplier Viridian glass.
"It's been a comprehensive process requiring extensive planning, which involved precise measurements to ensure the panels would fit perfectly, organisation to ensure site access and safety and co-ordination with the glass supplier, zoo staff and having the right equipment readily available," said Shane.
"This is where working in conjunction with Kennards Hire Lift & Shift was invaluable. After an initial call to discuss the needs of the project Kennards Hire Lift & Shift advised they had a machine that could lift glass over 700kgs. The staff at the Richmond branch arranged a demonstration of its capabilities and operational controls.
"It was the perfect machine for the project and was delivered and ready to go as soon as we needed it," Shane added.
Shane established Tech Glass Installations (Vic) and has been specialising in the installation of large, heavyweight glass products for over 15 years. Projects include commercial office buildings and retail complexes, hospitality venues, schools and architecturally designed houses with glass feature walls.
"We use a lot of cranes across a range of project sites," he said, "We've used electric chain blocks from Kennards Hire Lift & Shift before but this is the first time using one of their glass lifters.
"When doing projects with heavy pieces of glass it's a real bonus for our business knowing this machine is now available."
Kennards Hire Lift & Shift have the largest fleet of glass lifters in the hire industry. With a lifting capacity of up to 1000kg, this newest addition to the fleet features industry leading twin vacuum and battery system, providing additional safety during the lift process.