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Elevated Cat Walks and Monkey Trails of Ray Orehowsky Construction That Wins Visitors

Ray Orehowsky

Ray collaborated with a team of designers and then executed the building of elevated trails for animals at the Philadelphia Zoo.  He did the job with care for the comfort and safety of the animal.

“It’s been an interesting process because the materials are different.  I’ve had to really think about how to do this.  There is so much to take into consideration.  The catwalk for instance cannot have a slippery platform.”

“I’ve built hospitals and buildings but I’ve never had to think about an animal feeling comfortable and secure about its habitat.”

“The sight-lines for visitors need to be good so collaborated with others regarding the design.”

“What struck me in a positive way is the relationship the zookeepers have with the animals they’re responsible for.  I got to witness this and that is something that I take with me.  It’s pretty incredible.”

“During construction the animals didn’t get to go in their yards and they were going to have jackhammer sounds and other sounds that could be uncomfortable for them.  I didn’t want to be one that brought stress to the animals.”

“When we were working a jackhammer or other loud item the animals would get stressed and I had to think of ways to keep the stress down for them.  I juggled schedules and times.”

“I love animals.  Doing this project took more creative thought because I was in charge of what will be the life-long home for a living creature.  Their home needs to be comfortable but also secure for them, the veterinarians, zookeepers, and the visitors.”

“This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never have that again.  The experience certainly changed me in positive ways.  I won’t forget the calmness of animals when they saw their zookeeper.”

The video below shows the elevated trails.   

Partial Transcript

Ray Orehowsky

Ray’s positive imprint is that he collaborated with a team of designers and then executed the building of elevated trails, or elevated habitats for animals at the Philadelphia Zoo.  He did the job with care for the comfort and safety of the animal, as well as safety for the veterinarians, zookeepers, and visitors.

“I’m from Pennsylvania and I am originally a math and economics major.  Now I am president of a construction company.  My father-in-law started this company.  I executed the building of several of the habitats for the Philadelphia Zoo.”

“The zoo is landlocked with a railroad on one side.  There is nowhere for the zoo to expand except up.  I was part of a fantastic team and through collaboration we designed elevated trails.”

“It’s been an interesting process because the materials are different.  I’ve had to really think about how to do this.  There is so much to take into consideration.  The catwalk for instance.  The cats cannot have a slippery platform or one that does not make them feel secure.”

“This was different for me.  I’ve built hospitals and buildings but I’ve never had to think about an animal feeling comfortable and secure about its habitat.”

“I also had to look at the sight-lines for visitors.  Those need to be good as well.  I did a lot of collaborating with others regarding the design and then I executed that design.”

“What struck me in a positive way is the relationship the zookeepers have with the animals they’re responsible for.  I got to witness this and that is something that I take with me.  It’s pretty incredible.”

“During construction the animals didn’t get to go in their yards and they were going to have jackhammer sounds and other sounds that could be uncomfortable for them.  I didn’t want to be one that brought stress to the animals.”

“I had to think of ways to keep the stress down for them.  When we were working a jackhammer or other item with loud sounds we would do it when the animal was inside eating or at the veterinarian.  I juggled schedules and times.”

“I love animals.  Doing this project took more creative thought because I was in charge of what will be the life-long home for a living creature.  Their home needs to be comfortable but also secure for them, the veterinarians, zookeepers, and the visitors.”

“This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never have that again.  The experience certainly changed me in positive ways.  I won’t forget the calmness of animals when they saw their zookeeper.”

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