River’s Edge Addition - Interpretive Design
Saint Louis Zoo
Saint Louis, Missouri
Design Start Date:
Construction Completion Date:
Firm and Role
AFH Design, LLC
AFH Design was contracted by jCo to provide design services for the River’s Edge Addition, featuring three new animal habitats within the existing River’s Edge exhibit. The assignment was to create engaging, hands on, interactive elements to allow visitors to learn about three new species at the River’s Edge; Andean Bear, Painted Dog and Sun bear.
For the Andean Bear exhibit, three different bear masks are provided for visitors, along with mirrors that allow visitors to notice the varied markings on Andean Bear faces that allow researchers to identify individuals in the wild. The masks pivot on stanchions, and allow for fun family photo opportunities. A second interactive provides five conservation messages to visitors as the rotate the handle on a mock corn grinder.
Two interactive elements were designed for the Painted Dog exhibit. The first features
a rotating disk that reveals messages about the social behavior of the dogs, while the second, shield shaped sign features a rotating panel that displays a fun fact.
An interactive that answers the question “How long is a Sun Bear’s Tongue?” rated
very highly in early evaluations, using a mock-up. With this interactive, visitors slide a lever on the graphic, causing the bear’s tongue to emerge to an astounding measurement of ten inches! In a more serious interpretive sign, visitors learn the importance of selecting food made from sustainably harvested palm oil.