Chester Zoo has announced the opening of the UK’s largest ever indoor zoo exhibit – Monsoon Forest.
Part of the zoo’s £40m Islands development, Monsoon Forest features the Sulawesi crested macaque, rhinoceros hornbill, Asian forest tortoise and the tentacled snake as well as Frank and Frankie, a pair of Sunda gharial crocodiles.
The high tech new building, designed by architects dan pearlman, features its own tropical weather system.
Commenting on the new exhibit Dr Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo’s director general, said, “Monsoon Forest is a phenomenal exhibit. It’s the largest zoological building in the UK; it’s highly immersive and it has been designed to exhilarate the senses – visitors will be greeted by the smell of exotic fruit, sounds of rolling thunder and the occasional sprinkling of rain. This new exhibit puts Chester Zoo at the cutting edge in terms of the way we’re displaying animals, engaging with visitors and conveying conservation messages.
“The forests of South East Asia are home to a wide range of weird and wonderful species and, in Monsoon Forest, visitors will get to see a number of fascinating animals that come from the region, whist also learning about their environments and the threats they face. With forests being destroyed at an alarming rate, the loss of habitat is having a devastating impact on many wonderful animals and plants found in this part of the world, so it’s important that Monsoon Forest helps to raise awareness of these issues and gives our visitors the opportunity to help make a difference.
“The opening of Monsoon Forest is a huge new chapter for the zoo and a very exciting point in our history.”