It is early morning and outside the gates of Copenhagen Zoo a long queue of smiling children had already formed. Their excitement could not be contained as they eagerly awaited to be let in and for many this is one of the highlights of the year, a school trip to the zoo.
Teachers and guardians were trying their best to calm the children and have them line up in an orderly fashion. Easier said than done. Needless to say, it is clear that guests’ expectations often are set very high, and Copenhagen Zoo naturally wants to meet or even exceed those expectations.
Therefore, the zoo is full of clever and visually pleasing logistical solutions that serve exactly that purpose. For example, using lift tables and hidden containers to handle or hide some of the less appealing aspects of running a zoo, such as sometimes smelly animal waste.
“It is a great feeling to be able to provide such joy for children from all over the world,” says Lars Martin Jensen CEO at CJ Montage Aps, as he is installing a new lift table in the Zebra paddock. “Anyone who has spent time around certain paddocks knows that the smell can be quite pungent.
That said, our lifting solutions and hidden containers go a long way to improve the experience for our guests,” Martin continues.
Lifting Elephants with Care
During our visit we were not only impressed by the cleverly installed lift tables, containers and pits but also by the many animals from all corners of the globe. Eventually, we arrived at the elephant paddock and as we got closer our guide Martin burst out in a laugh.
“I have seen many illustrations of lift manufacturers using elephants to demonstrate the quality of their lift tables. Here, we don’t need any analogies, we lift actual elephants!” he continues, still laughing.
The thing is, elephants can cause a bit of trouble if they are in a certain mood, upon which it might be necessary to separate an elephant from the rest of the herd. Due to this, the elephant paddock is divided into two sections connected by lift tables.
“If an elephant needs to be separated from the others, the hidden lift table offers a smooth solution. Once the elephant that is going to be separated has walked over the lift table to the other section of the paddock the lift table is lowered, and the pit stops the elephant from returning to the others.
The lift table the elephant walks over is designed for 10 tons, so even if we are talking about a big male elephant, lifting is not a problem” Martin explains.
It is a great and safe way to help the elephant and the solution is not only space efficient but due to its hidden design, not distracting to look at. “A great solution that appeals to elephants, guests and architects alike,” says Martin.
Perfectly hidden. Minimal smell and free sight.
Sustainable and Long-Lasting Solutions
Copenhagen Zoo aspires to use sustainable solutions as much as possible and wants to be a part of a sustainable society. Which is why they only use vegetable based and recyclable oils in their lift tables and additionally, perhaps most importantly, their lift tables are expected to be used for a very long time.
“Even if more expensive initially, we only purchase and install equipment that is meant to last for a long time. Build quality and longevity is extremely important to us. In the long run it is good for our wallet and the environment,” Martin proclaims.
“The zoo is open 365 days a year and everything has to work no matter if you are an elephant, architect or a child on a school trip,” Martin concludes.
Great Designs and Making a Difference
In Copenhagen Zoo’s case, apart from their own clever and visually thoughtful lifting solutions, the panda habitat was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and the elephant house by Norman Foster.
Not only that, with hundreds of species and thousands of animals it is also a part of several international projects that serve to maintain biodiversity and help ensure the survival of endangered species.
“It truly is a fantastic zoo that means a lot to people and animals alike, and with beautiful surroundings. Most people don’t realize that zoos often are architectural marvels and we aspire to create a beautiful and functional environment for our animals, guests and ourselves,” he says proudly.