Plans for a new £1.5million big cat house at Blackpool Zoo have been announced.
The Pride of Blackpool exhibit, which currently houses Amur tigers and African lions, will be extended and refurbished to create a state-of-the-art facility designed around the specific needs of each species. Work is expected to start in early May.
The new development will see increased interior space and a larger off-show management area complemented by extended outdoor enclosures and improved caretaking facilities, allowing for the best possible care for the magnificent and endangered animals.
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Visitors will be able to enjoy indoor and outdoor views of lions and tigers while going about their daily lives.
Work is expected to be completed in time for spring 2023, and final discussions are underway as to where the current big cats will be relocated during the renovations.
Darren Webster, Director of Blackpool Zoo, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will soon be opening a new and improved home for our big cats. The house and outdoor areas have been meticulously planned to ensure the long term future of the big cat species at Blackpool Zoo.
“This is the latest in a series of significant investments over the past decade and each improves the environment for our beloved animals, dedicated staff and valued visitors. After two challenging years, it’s wonderful to make this exciting announcement and we look forward to seeing this project become a reality in the months ahead.
“It is particularly pleasing to begin work on our 50th anniversary, as it marks another very important milestone in the progress of animal husbandry over the past few years. Alyona the tiger and Wallace and Khari the lions are hugely popular with our visitors and I’m sure many people will come to wish them bon voyage in the coming weeks.
“It’s time to look to the future while celebrating the past here at Blackpool Zoo and I’m sure this summer will be the best yet.”