Mathews Mechanical Projects: Industrial Maintenance at the Zoo

At Mathews Mechanical, we help organizations solve their problems — even in unique places like the zoo! Whatever your challenge, we can help create a custom solution. What does our work look like at the zoo? Keep reading to find out how our expert team took on industrial maintenance in this exciting location.


Mathews Mechanical at the Zoo


For many years, Mathews Mechanical has provided services to help maintain the hydraulic doors in animal enclosures. From rhinos to elephants, our team has ensured that doors can safely open and close at zoos, including the renowned San Francisco Zoo. 


Because it’s so critical for zoos to preserve the well-being of animals, zookeepers and zoo visitors alike, entrances and exits must be safe and secure. Doors and gates must have no sharp edges to harm the animals, but must also be tamper-proof, so animals cannot manipulate hardware or forcibly open their exhibit doors. At the same time, zookeepers must be kept safe while taking care of large (and potentially dangerous!) animals.


Where do we start with such a unique project? Mathews Mechanical is here to help from the design of the doors to the installation of the hydraulic controls that open and close the doors for various enclosures. Years later, our team remains available for maintenance and repair as needed. 


Hydraulic doors are a great option for zoos because they offer the same durability and maximum headroom as other doors, but they also deliver faster speeds and a smooth hydraulic operation. Hydraulic doors can stand up to any kind of weather and also take on the wear and tear a large animal may put on an enclosure. With appropriately sized hydraulic cylinders and correct installation, this machine works with ease without stressing the doorframe.


In addition to zoo exhibits, hydraulic doors are also appropriate solutions for outdoor spaces, containment and holding areas, maintenance barns, veterinary and medical care spaces, crowding doors and gates, barn doors and stalls, and much more. 

Industrial Designs with Safety in Mind


These heavy duty doors are not the type a zookeeper will simply push open. They’re powered by hydraulics and crafted to ensure animal and human safety. 


That’s why our team made sure that the controls were designed so operators have positive control of the doors. It’s not possible to press a button to close the door, walk away and cause an accident. 


Interestingly, this design is not unlike the sensors on a garage door that keep the door from closing on your car or someone in the way. These kinds of considerations lead to successful and safe completed projects.

Industrial Maintenance for Continuous Control


Keeping things in working order is especially important when dealing with enormous animals. The Mathews Mechanical team is always here to work with our clients and fulfill any industrial maintenance needs. 


When one zoo had issues with an animal enclosure door not closing all the way, our team went out to help. Our engineers took to troubleshooting and uncovered the problem. With a few adjustments to the hydraulic controls and a review of any interference, the team was able to fix the doors so they fully closed. 


Aware of the particular environment of these exotic animals, the team made careful consideration to leave the habitat as they found it. With the door fixed, the zoo was able to continue safely caring for its animals. 


Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! It’s all within our expertise. Mathews Mechanical is your trusted team for industrial maintenance. Whether your needs involve an endangered species or an important product, we are here to help. And that’s only the beginning: our line card outlines the wide variety of services we can deliver. Find out more about why Mathews Mechanical is the premier industrial maintenance and custom fabrication shop for the Bay area and beyond.