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Zoos: Longleat has invested over £5m in new attractions

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Longleat has invested over £5m in a series of innovative new features, new animals plus new activities and events for the 2011 season and even more is planned for 2012 and beyond.

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Among the new attractions introduced in 2011 include the UK’s first Meerkat Walkthrough enclosure in Jungle Kingdom, Monkey Temple – with its colony of free-roaming mischievous monkeys and the free-flying Rainbow Lorikeets which can be hand fed by visitors.

Launched for the summer holidays and open throughout the season, Hunters of the Sky is a spectacular new 30 minute aerial bird of prey display, starring some of the world’s top predators. Run in partnership with the award-winning Hawk Conservancy Trust, visitors get up close to witness a falcon fly at over 100 miles an hour, feel a vulture’s wings swoop just above their heads, marvel at a carousel of kites and witness the sheer spectacle of the majestic eagle taking flight.

Longleat Safari Park has also welcomed a number of new arrivals in 2011 including two new white rhinoceros, a herd of wildebeest and a group of new male lions to add to their world-famous prides. The hugely-popular Monkey Drive Thru has been re-opened by popular demand.  New attractions still to open this year include Pedal Boats on the Longleat lakes and six Cheetah, which are due to arrive in the next few weeks in the Safari Park.

“We’re delighted with the positive response we have been getting from visitors about all the new attractions and events we have launched this year, ” said David Bradley, CEO Longleat Enterprises Ltd.

“Visitor figures are holding up extremely well and we’re extremely happy with our performance compared to industry trends.

“We are particularly pleased with the significant increase in our online booking transactions and our mix of indoor and outdoor attractions means we are truly an all-weather visit. Everyone here is confident both for the remainder of this season and for next year where we have a series of ground-breaking new attractions and features already planned."

New attractions for 2012 include a new Gorilla Island, the new Watering Hole in the Safari Park where visitors can hand feed the giraffes and work will continue on the ‘Anne the Elephant Sanctuary’. As well as the new summer features and activities this year, Longleat has also announced a series of major new events aimed at attracting new visitors throughout the rest of 2011.

First time ever events for Longleat include a week-long Halloween Spookfest (22nd – 31st October) and fantastic fireworks displays (28th – 29th October, 4th – 5th November).

A magical new ‘Christmas at Longleat’ event (selected dates between 18th November –  2nd January – see www.longleat.co.uk  for details) which includes a giant real ice-skating rink, unique 40ft musical Christmas tree, enchanted fairy tales and Christmas stories which will be brought to life in Longleat House and the Special Santa Train, plus a traditional Christmas market with festive food and fayre.

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