CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in more than two years, lions are back on display at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Crowds lined up Thursday to see the big cats in their state-of-the-art habitat at the new Pepper Family Wildlife Center.

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The lions are just some of the animals enjoying the new habitat, including two red pandas, two Canada lynx and two snow leopards.

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The landmark Kovler Lion House, which first opened in 1912, closed in 2019 for a $41 million renovation. The new habitat is twice the size, and was designed based on information collected over several years by a behavior monitor app.

Their new home includes heating and cooling zones, trees for climbing, elevated rocks. and privacy areas.

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Visitors can now view the animals from both inside and outside the lion house.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff