Animals

New Bristol Zoo will turn part of South Gloucestershire into an ‘African forest’

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Bristol Zoo will create two new main areas for its animals at the expanded Wild Place site in South Gloucestershire – and its name will eventually be changed to Bristol Zoo.

Chiefs at popular Clifton Zoos have released more details about their plans to expand the Wild Place project, which is located near Junction 17 of the M5 on the Cribbs Causeway.

Wild Place will be renamed the new Bristol Zoo when they all open in 2024, and will include a massive woodland area to house gorillas, crocodiles, parrots and other rare animals, as well as a new underwater viewing area.

Read more: Dimbleby supports our world as the future of Bristol Zoo grows divided

Bristol Zoo released more information today (Wednesday, December 15), including a five-minute short film about its move from the zoo to Wild Place, and about its plans for Wild Place, after its plans for the zoo’s current location in Clifton were announced earlier. from this fall.

The zoo will close its Clifton site in the fall of next year, and begin work to create new habitats, enclosures and buildings on Wild Place for animals in Clifton to move in.

The zoo said the new Bristol Zoo will be home to some of the world’s most endangered species. “This will reflect the vital conservation that Bristol Zoological Society is doing with species and habitats around the world,” said the spokesperson. “The new Bristol Zoo will have conservation and sustainability at its heart, with more than 78 per cent of its species associated with the Society’s conservation work – more than any other zoo in the UK.”

Wild Place covers 136 acres and is already home to animals from all over the world, including giraffes, bears, leopards, wolves, wolverines, lynxes, zebras, baboons, meerkats, and lemurs.

The latest addition to the Wild Place attraction has been Bear Wood, which opened in 2019 and is home to Eurasian brown bears, lynxes, wolverines and wolves.

The biggest new addition to the Wild Place for its conversion into the new Bristol Zoo will be the new Central African Forest District, which will provide an area to which the zoo’s gorilla squad will move, along with a new population of endangered crowned cherry. Mangabe monkeys.

The zoo said this would be an “immersive immersive exhibit,” reflecting the animals’ natural environment as closely as possible.

“The Central African jungle area will also include the critically endangered African gray parrots, as well as the endangered slender crocodiles and an extremely rare species of West African fish that visitors will be able to see in a new underwater viewing area,” a zoo spokesperson said. .



mangabe cherry
mangabe cherry

“There will also be a newly constructed conservation breeding center to house some of the world’s most endangered species of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds, nearly all of which will be classified as ‘endangered’ or ‘extinct in the IUCN Red List’,” Wild added. The Nature Conservancy (IUCN) of threatened species, some of which will be bred for possible reintroduction into the wild.”

“Among them will be an assortment of rare tortoises and tortoises, blue-spotted tree watchdogs, leafy-tailed henkel geckos, Tartik hornbills, bleeding heart pigeons, Socorro pigeons—which are extinct in the wild—and wild Madiran snails, Desertas wolf spiders, and Javan magpies. Green, good rainbow fish, and more.

This area will include indoor climate-controlled enclosures, biological safe breeding rooms, as well as outdoor ponds and cages. These will be on display for visitors, who will learn about the Bristol Zoological Society’s conservation breeding programs as well as their work in the wild.”

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The zoo’s plans to move to Wild Place were first announced last year and have been hailed with widespread support across Bristol as a way to secure the zoo’s long-term future, as well as provide a venue ten times larger than the 12-acre Clifton site.

The zoo’s plans for what will happen at the site of Clifton Down after he leaves are more controversial. Local groups objected to plans to build 235 apartments on the site, and an alternative project was proposed to create an “Augmented Reality Zoo” that would bring together the city’s leading wildlife film-making and IT sectors, causing something of a divide. In the city’s commercial, tourist and political establishment.

But the zoo is pressing its plans to move, with the support of some of the city’s business and tourism chiefs, which will be paid for in part by property development in Clifton.

Public consultations to expand the Wild Place site, near the village of Easter Compton in south Gloucestershire, will begin in February next year.



Brian Zimmerman, Director of Conservation and Science at Bristol Zoo

“The new Bristol Zoo will set the standard for a modern and forward-looking 21st century zoo,” said Brian Zimmerman, Zoo’s director of conservation and science.

“We will lead the way in terms of conservation within the zoo, with at least 78 per cent of our animals having a connection to conservation when the first phase of development is completed and more than 90 per cent by the bicentennial in 2035. Exhibits at the new Bristol Zoo will be Larger and reflective of the surrounding environment in which the animals will live in the wild.

“The Conservation Breeding Center will also include threatened species from the UK, such as the white-clawed lobster, and will showcase the important captive breeding work we do with a range of rare species,” he added.



Dr Justin Morris, CEO of the Bristol Zoological Society
Dr Justin Morris, CEO of the Bristol Zoological Society

Dr Justin Morris, CEO of the Bristol Zoological Society, added: “The new Bristol Zoo will ensure future generations of children encounter the amazing animals in nature, and that our charity continues its important work in conservation and education, to protect endangered species and habitats.

“We want to make sure the animals we work with are the ones we can make the biggest difference to and connect with those we work with in the wild. We also plan to add a number of new species and look forward to being able to share exciting animal updates on this in the coming months.”

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