Bristol Zoo: Fresh images reveal new home for gorillas with ‘wild’ entrance
The new Bristol Zoo will offer an ‘immersive wild experience’
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Bristol Zoo has revealed new CGI images showing what its new attraction at Wild Place Project will look like. One of the images shows the planned central African forests area which will be home to the Western lowland gorilla troop.
Other images show a conservation learning campus and a new entrance to the park. Interestingly, the visuals have been released on the same day of a meeting of The Save Bristol Zoo campaign at Christ Church in Clifton tonight (February 22).
The zoo closed in September last year with bosses declaring the site no longer affordable to run. Plans have since been in motion to open a new zoo at Bristol Zoological Society’s Wild Place Project site in Easter Compton.
Bristol Zoological Society say it will be home to some of the world’s most threatened species. And today, the society also revealed more on the animals moving to the new zoo. They will include a group of cherry-crowned mangabey monkeys, African grey parrots, slender-snouted crocodiles and several extremely rare species of West African fish.
New species will also then be moving to the new Bristol Zoo from other zoos and aquariums around the world as part of well-established, cooperative breeding programmes. These include two black rhinoceros, North African red necked ostrich and Grevy’s zebra.
The society says the new zoo will offer an ‘immersive wild experience’ with a red panda exhibit, underwater viewing area and the central African forests zone.
Dr Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “We’re excited to share these images of the new Bristol Zoo. They show how animals will have the space to thrive and future generations will come face-to-face with amazing animals in nature, as well as learn more about our charity’s critical conservation and education work, to protect at-risk species and habitats.”
The animal plan created by the society is focused on 76 species, and it is hoped that 80% of the animals in the first phase of opening will be linked to a conservation programme around the world. The target by 2035 is for 90% of species to be linked to its conservation work - with more species planned to arrive over a number of years.
Brian Zimmerman, Director of Conservation and Science at Bristol Zoological Society, said: “We’ve developed our animal species plan so that we can really focus our resources on animals that most need our help, and maximise the impact we make to the conservation of wildlife.”
Construction of the new Bristol Zoo is expected to begin in 2024 and will be phased over a number of years with Wild Place Project remaining open throughout.
Meanwhile, the society wants to sell parts of the site for housing with approximately 200 homes created in new or converted buildings, and open it as a public park with a playground, lake and cafe.