Asian Passage

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The Asian Passage is a proposed major exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo which will house various Asian species as the red panda, Komodo dragon and Sumatran orangutan. Plans call for the new exhibit to expand or replace the existing Predator Building. Zoo visitors will be able to view larger habitat enclosures from an elevated walkway.

Funding for the proposed Asian Passage exhibit was included in the $18 million "Renew the Zoo" capital campaign. The City of Birmingham contributed $7.5 million to the campaign. Another $4 million was pledged from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the Altec/Styslinger Foundation, the Robert R. Meyer Foundation, AutoTec, EBSCO Industries, the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Charitable Foundation, McKinney Capital, the Nall-Whatley Foundation, O'Neal Industries, the Thompson Foundation, Vulcan Materials and Wells Fargo.

The construction project is to be designed by Torre Design Consortium of New Orleans, Louisiana with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood architects, and managed by B. L. Harbert International. The exhibit was expected to open in 2019, but that plan has since been pushed to 2021.

Kumar, a Malayan tiger, was anticipated to be a centerpiece of the exhibit, but developed a malignant sarcoma and was euthanized in March 2018. Other animals expected to be part of the Asian Passage include Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis), Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii), red pandas (Ailurus fulgens), white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar), a Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul) and a fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).


  • Good, Ana (December 30, 2015) "Year In Preview: A look at Birmingham Zoo’s planned $18 million renovation." Village Living