The new Bristol Zoo will feature a Central African Forest area with a gorilla troop and a new group of endangered monkeys when it opens in 2024, bosses have revealed today.
The zone will also have endangered African grey parrots, as well as critically endangered slender-snouted crocodile and an extremely rare species of West African fish.
Plans for the feature have been revealed by Bristol Zoological Society in an update on its development, which it says will have conservation and sustainability at its heart.
The zoo will also have a conservation breeding centre, as well as learning and medicine centres.
And it will retain many of the current exhibits of the Wild Place Project - the site near Cribbs Causeway where the zoo will move to.
What will the new Bristol zoo include
A new Central African Forest with the gorillas and the endangered cherry-crowned mangabey monkeys in an immersive woodland exhibit, reflecting their natural habitat as closely as possible.
The zone will also have the grey parrots, slender-snouted crocodile and West African fish which visitors will be able to see in a new underwater viewing area.
At the zoo there will also be a conservation breeding centre will also be built to house some of the world’s most threatened species of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds, almost all of which will be categorised as either critically endangered or extinct in the wild.
The centre will include a variety of rare tortoises and turtles, blue spotted tree monitors and Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos.
And there will be a new conservation learning centre for undergraduate and postgraduate conservation degrees through partnerships that include University of the West of England and University of Bristol.
A conservation medicine centre will also be created.
What the zoo society says
Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of the zoo society, said: “The new Bristol Zoo will ensure future generations of children can come face-to-face with amazing animals in nature, and that our charity continues its critical conservation and education work, to protect at-risk species and habitats.
“We want to make sure the animals we work with are those for whom we can make the biggest difference and link to those that we are working with in the wild. We also plan to add a number of new species and we look forward to being able to share exciting animal updates on this in the coming months.”
Brian Zimmerman, director of conservation and science at the society, added: “Our new Bristol Zoo will set the standard for a modern, forward-looking zoo for the 21st century.
“We will lead the way in terms of conservation within a zoo, with at least 78 percent of our animals having a link to conservation when the first phase of development is complete and more than 90 percent by our bicentenary in 2035.
“The exhibits at the new Bristol Zoo will be larger and reflect the surroundings in which animals would live in the wild.
What happens now
A public consultation on the plans for the new Bristol Zoo will take place in early February next year where further plans will be shared, ahead of a planning application in the spring.
The current zoo in Clifton is expected to close late next year, with plans for Bristol Zoo Gardens at the site, along with homes on the West car park site.
Alternative plans have been put forward by a group called Our World Bristol for a virtual zoo at the Clifton site.