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Bristol Zoo’s new home to include some of world’s most threatened species

New Bristol Zoo will feature a central African forests area, home to the gorilla troop from Bristol Zoo Gardens.

bristol zoo gorilla

Set to open in 2024 at the Wild Place Project, the new Bristol Zoo will feature some of the world’s most threatened species. More than 78 percent of its species are linked to Bristol Zoological Society’s conservation work.

The new Bristol Zoo will include a central African forests area, home to the gorilla troop from Bristol Zoo Gardens, as well as a new group of endangered cherry-crowned mangabey monkeys.

The central African forests area will also house endangered African grey parrots, critically endangered slender-snouted crocodile, and rare species of West African fish.

“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,” said Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society.

The new Bristol Zoo opens in 2024

“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,” he added.

Bristol Zoo is building a conservation breeding centre for reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds, all of which are classed as critically endangered or extinct in the wild.

The conservation breeding centre will feature climate-controlled enclosures, biosecure breeding rooms, outdoor ponds and aviaries. These will be accessible to visitors, who will learn about conservation breeding programmes.

The zoo will also have a new conservation learning centre and conservation medicine centre. “Our new Bristol Zoo will set the standard for a modern, forward-looking zoo for the 21st century,” said Brian Zimmerman, director of conservation and science at Bristol Zoological Society.

Public consultation in February 2022

“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,” he added.

“The exhibits at the new Bristol Zoo will be larger and reflect the surroundings in which animals would live in the wild.”

The new zoo at the Wild Place Project will offer many of the current zoo’s exhibits, including Bear Wood and Gelada Rocks. However, Forest of Birds and Twilight World will close on January 4, 2022.

The rest of the Bristol Zoo Gardens site will remain open through autumn 2022. Bristol Zoo is holding a public consultation on the plans in early February 2022, ahead of the submission of a planning application next spring.

Images: Bristol Zoo

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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