Not the usual display you would expect in an elephant house, Leaf Cutting Ants are a great public attraction and the managers at Blair Drummond Safari park decided that Leaf Cutters would be the perfect display to keep the public interested when the Elephants were outside and the Elephant house was empty. A big job for these tiny insects but one they are perfectly adapted for.
A view from above! The Elephants are seen from above from the raised room above them. It was through these windows that our job to display the ants was to take shape.
From inside the viewing room the many windows show a fantastic view of the Elephants but an empty enclosure is not what the public want to see so we decided to use a rope walkway on the other side of the window to make the ants walk past each window and form a point of interest. Actually, as it turned out, Leaf Cutting Ants are as much of an attraction as Elephants are!!!
On the Elephants side of the window, Alan fixes the rope walkway so it drapes from one window to the next.
The feeding table, from the front , and from the rear, showing the pipe exiting through the wall where it connects to the rope walkway.
The feeding table features an island design which allows a vase of plants to be placed in the centre and a water fillled base to prevent escapes.
The nest area was built with rock effect theming and a series of shelves which allow the ants to build their fungus gardens in full view of the public. In this way the life cycle of the ants from gathering leaves, transporting them back and the process of recycling them is on full view to the public.