Archive: Richard C. Devereaux Foundation Sweetens the Kitty at Detroit Zoo

$1 million gift will help fund major renovation and expansion of tiger habitat

December 22, 2016

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit tigers are getting a new home – the zoo tigers, that is. The ferocious felines at the Detroit Zoo will soon have a renovated and expanded habitat, thanks in part to a $1 million gift from the Richard C. Devereaux Foundation.

The Devereaux Tiger Forest will provide the animals with more room to roam and will feature naturalistic elements important to the species, including high vantage points, open spaces, trees, a cave, waterfall and pool.

“The Detroit Zoo is one of my favorite places on earth, and I think tigers are the most magnificent of all creatures,” said Leslie Devereaux. “It brings me great pride to be able to support both an organization and a species that I hold so dear to my heart.”

The expansion will triple the size of the habitat and offer multiple viewing areas for guests, including an 85-foot-long acrylic window. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and will take about a year to complete.

“This generous gift will help us provide the tigers with a larger and more complex space in which to live,” said Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan. “Leslie Devereaux has been a tremendous supporter of the zoo for many years, and we are incredibly appreciative of this gift.”

Devereaux, of Bloomfield Hills, is a former member of the DZS Board of Directors. She has previously contributed to the construction of the Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life and Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex, and helped fund the Berman Academy for Humane Education.

The Detroit Zoo’s tiger habitat is currently home to female Kisa (“kitty” in Russian), who was born at the Zoo in 2003.

The Amur tiger, once known as a Siberian tiger, is the largest member of the cat family and the largest of the five remaining subspecies of tiger. It is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).