Chester Zoo to Open £40m Islands on July 13 2015

Chester Zoo is the UK’s largest zoo, welcoming 1.4 million visitors a year, is the most visited paid for attraction outside London (ALVA) and has been ranked as the UK’s best zoo by Trip Advisor.  The Zoo’s ambitious Islands project is to open to the public on July 13th 2015.

Islands, the “biggest and most ambitious” project in the history of UK zoos, recreates the exotic islands of South East Asia and feature critically endangered animals classed including Sumatran tigers, Sumatran orangutans and Visayan warty pigs. 

chester zoo islands designed by dan pearlman

The £40 million new zone designed by dan pearlman recreates habitats in in Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi linked by bridges bringing the Zoo’s Act for Wildlife conservation activities to life as visitors take the Lazy River Boat Ride and make their way through mangroves, swamps, bamboo and tropical forests.

Islands also includes Monsoon Forest, the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK and home to Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques and the Sunda gharial crocodile.

chester zoo islands aerial map

Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo’s managing director, said, “Islands will see the dawning of a new age, creating an unparalleled visitor experience. Although our fabulous animals will provide a huge draw for visitors, the journey itself – all of the sounds, smells, colours and culture of these islands – will bring everything to life. 

“Islands is about immersion – transporting visitors thousands of miles away to experience the splendour of the animals, plants and the cultural aspects of these far-flung places. It will take our visitors on an adventure where, for a couple of hours, they’ll feel like they’re exploring South East Asia.

“The details along the way help tell authentic stories of the amazing things that happen on these fantastically important islands, including our own vital field conservation work.”

Kieran Stanley, CEO of creative agency dan pearlman who designed the architecture and landscape, plantings, animal habitats and boat trip for Islands, will be speaking at blooloopLIVE London 2015 on May 7th.