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Royal Oak — Tigers will have more room to roam — and be a bit easier to see — at the Detroit Zoo by 2018.

The zoo announced plans Thursday to renovate and expand its tiger habitat, which will “feature naturalistic elements important to the species,” such as tiered vantage points, trees, a cave and a waterfall with a pool.

The renovations will begin in 2017, and take roughly a year to complete. Work will be funded in part by a $1 million gift from the Richard C. Devereaux Foundation.

The entire project will cost $2 million.

“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 in a news release. “It brings me great pride to be able to support both an organization and a species that I hold so dear to my heart.”

Plans for the renovated exhibit will triple its size and add more viewing areas for guests. Like the lion exhibit at the Detroit Zoo, there will be a large acrylic window that will let guests get close to the animals. Currently, a deep, wide trench separates guests from the section of the exhibit the Zoo’s tiger roams.

“This generous gift will help us provide the tigers with a larger and more complex space in which to live,” said Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society executive director and CEO in a statement.

The zoo currently features a female tiger named Kisa, who was born there in 2003. She’s an Amur tiger, which is the largest wild cat and largest subspecies of tiger. Amur tigers, formerly known as Siberian tigers, are listed as an endangered species.

Patricia Janeway, a Detroit Zoo representative, said Thursday that officials plan to acquire additional tigers, but do not have a timeline established.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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