Visiting Newquay – then Make Time to Visit its Very Own Zoo!!
Everyone likes a Zoo don’t they, and there are a number of smaller zoos around with Newquay being one that you really should visit when you’re around that part of the world
NEWQUAY ZOO COMBINES FAMILY FUN, EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION!
As well as being a great family day out, Newquay Zoo is an education, research and conservation charity which is dedicated to protecting global wildlife heritage.
The zoo was opened in Cornwall on Whit Monday, 26 May 1969 by the local council, a pretty progressive move in that day and age.
It was privately owned by Mike Thomas and Roger Martin from 1993 until 2003. In August 2003 the zoo became part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, alongside Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts.
It’s been awarded various South West and Cornwall ‘Visitor Attraction of The Year’ and ‘Sustainable Tourism’ awards for excellence for several years It is now run as part of the Wild Planet Trust, the new name for the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The zoo has been recognised for providing sustainable tourism and was one of the first few British zoos to gained accreditation for its environmental management systems
The Zoo today
Newquay Zoo is Cornwall’s largest zoo and now covers over 13 acres of land, as well as housing over 130 species. The original zoo was around 6 acres and an expansion of 3.5 acres opened as an African Savanna area followed by a central new Philippines area housing endangered fishing cat, Visayan warty pig and Philippine spotted deer.
The animal collection at Newquay consists of many species, including ex-situ conservation breeding programmes for endangered red pandas, lemurs, Sulawesi crested macaques, Humboldt penguins, fossa, marmosets, tamarins and tapirs as well as meerkats and lions.
The zoo is home to part of an international breeding programme for some endangered species such as Owston’s palm civet and red-fronted macaw for which an overseas in-situ conservation support programme of funding and skills exchange exists, along with support for the unau sloth project and pacarana in South America, pangolin and small carnivore conservation programme in South East Asia. The World Land Trust BIAZA zoo reserve in South America is also supported through the wild spaces scheme.
The zoo has an immersive tropical house exhibit which houses rainforest plants and animals including a sloth, tropical birds, reptiles and insects.
The Zoo is proud to support overseas conservation programmes, helping conserve endangered species including red fronted macaws, pangolins and sloths. The Zoo also runs a highly successful breeding programme, so you may see baby animals on your visit!
It’s a Terrific History and Great news for the Area!
Newquay Zoo is one of Cornwall’s most popular tourist attractions, and has come on a long way since its humble beginnings. Now a leading conservation and education centre, Newquay Zoo started life as a seasonal attraction in the 1950s.
Newquay Urban District Council decided in 1969 to relocate it to a permanent home. Such was the local interest in the Zoo that by the end of the first day, 4,000 visitors had been through the gates.
In 2003 the Zoo joined forces with Paignton Zoo and is now part of Wild Planet Trust, a registered charity dedicated to conserving natural habitats and wildlife throughout the world. Newquay Zoo has become a leading centre of excellence in animal welfare and conservation. Information on all the animals in the Zoo is recorded and stored, in contrast with early records which were limited to arrival date, purchase cost, births and deaths. The old cards do make for interesting reading, with unusual deaths recorded including ‘dead bitten by alligators’ and ‘killed by bears’.
The Zoo is continually evolving. When it first opened in 1969, animals included lions, bears, leopards and flamingos. Now the Zoo has expanded, growing to 13 acres with approximately 130 species including penguins, zebras, civets, macaws and wildebeest. In 2016 a new walk-through aviary called Gems of the Jungle opened. Improvements to existing enclosures will result in a mini-makeover for the Zoo over the next few years. Conservation and breeding programmes are proving to be highly successful.
For more information:
The Little Green Book
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