A project I am currently working on is a termite mound for installation in an indoor meerkat (Suricata suricatta) enclosure. Currently the enclosure is a mix of pebbles, sand, dirt, and rocks to simulate a natural substrate for the meerkats.
This zoo features multiple other termite mounds made of concrete, but they are heavy and cumbersome. The initial need for this mound was to find a way to create one that was small enough to get through the doors to the building, while being light enough to lift over a glass wall without the use of machines.
To start, I built the initial mass out of recycled newspaper and garbage bags. This is a great talking point for the zoo docents and helps bring sustainability into the conversation. In order to create a more realistic shell, expanding foam was used to create more detail. At this point it is starting to resemble a mound, probably more like a volcano at this point, but that is specifically for a reason. Something I will get back to later.
The brown spots throughout the mid section of the shell are enrichment areas. The mound represents one that is actively being raided by meerkats, so there are broken steeples, and cavities throughout. As a note, we had some fire block foam which is orange, so that is what the initial lower layer is.
I will add to this blog post as I progress. Please feel free to add a comment/ask a question below.