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WILMINGTON, OH— The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, celebrated its 20th birthday on March 15, 2014 and part of the festivities included the grand opening of the “Meerkat Hamlet,” a new exhibit in the Exhibition Africa section that houses a multi-generational family of meerkats. Installing a boardwalk made of durable, low maintenance TimberTech® decking was a key component in bringing zoo guests closer to the spunky meerkat action. The new “mob” (the term for a group of meerkats) of eight precocious critters joins 600 other animals residing at the popular zoo.
“The meerkats are a completely different kind of resident than we currently house at the zoo,” said Jon Brangan, Deputy Director of the Brevard Zoo. “It was important to us to create an environment that was as close to their natural habitat as we could get, including the terrain and underground tunnel networks.”
The new TimberTech boardwalk’s multiple viewing areas include an interactive termite mound where children can crawl inside and get eye-to-eye with the meerkats as they pass through the tunnels. Made with TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolutions® Natural decking, designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and tough Florida weather, the new boardwalk will have a much longer lifespan than traditional wood boardwalks.
TimberTech’s Natural Collection decking has a composite core and a “capped” protective outer shell to help protect against damage from the elements and high-traffic. It is also scratch, stain and fade resistant with a natural hardwood look. Brangan chose Brownstone for the estimated 90 linear ft. of boardwalk (nearly 200 boards) because it blends nicely with the meerkats’ habitat and could be cut and mitered to fit neatly around trees and poles throughout the exhibit.
Brangan also had existing boardwalks in other areas of the zoo resurfaced with TimberTech decking. “We’ve been using TimberTech since 2007, so we know what to expect from the product,” said Brangan. “It looks natural and we like the way it performs. We trust that it is more than capable of handling the expected increase in traffic.”
With the new TimberTech boardwalks bringing guests closer than ever, the meticulously designed meerkat habitat for these cute and entertaining critters will likely make Brevard Zoo a must-see destination for quite some time. For more details on the Meerkat Hamlet, visit www.brevardzoo.org.
AZEK Building Products manufactures home building materials under two divisions: TimberTech® and AZEK Exteriors®. TimberTech offers a premium portfolio of capped polymer and capped composite decking – as well as railing, porch, lighting and paver products – while AZEK Exteriors manufactures distinctly unique trim and moulding. Together the brands present homeowners, builders, architects, dealers and contractors with a comprehensive suite of first-rate products that are long lasting, sustainable alternatives to wood. AZEK is headquartered in Chicago, IL (with plants in OH and PA) and also owns Minneapolis-based Ultralox railing systems.