Blackpool Zoo is gearing up for its busiest summer ever after the launch of its single biggest investment.

Project Elephant Base Camp is proving to be a mammoth attraction and since it opened in early spring there has been a 15 per cent increase in visitors, with record numbers in May and June.

The multi-million pound elephant facility combines one of the UK’s largest indoor elephant houses with a huge outdoor habitat and an immersive themed visitor experience through Asia.

The resident herd consists of Kate, who has lived in Blackpool for 46 years, Tara, who came from Twycross Zoo in January and Minbu, who arrived from the same zoo in March.

Plans are currently underway to transport two remaining female elephants from Twycross and the search is on to identify a bull elephant to complete the group.
The launch of Project Elephant Base Camp came during what has been a great start to the year for the award winning attraction!

Its ever-popular Dinosaur Safari underwent a massive makeover, with each individual prehistoric predator being washed down and re-painted. New plants were installed and signage was updated and replaced.

There has also been a springtime baby boom, with youngsters being born across the site!

A tiny Titi monkey was the first to arrive in the Small Primate House to herald the start of the birthing season, and was quickly followed by lots and lots of little lemurs!
April saw the arrival of a Bactrian camel, who was born on the same day as the latest Royal baby! As soon as the prince’s name was announced keepers at the zoo followed suit and named the camel Louis.

Next up was a Santa’s sleigh full of reindeer calves, who arrived in quick succession. Head of the herd, Ghost, proved he had had a very busy mating season after all but one of his females gave birth. The youngsters were, of course, named after Father Christmas’ famous crew!

Three adorable sea lions were born in June, extending the size of the UK’s largest harem to 11. They are out and about on their artificial beach and taking their first tentative swims under the watchful eyes of mums Anya, Rubi and Lo. 

There has also been a flurry of feathery activity over in the bird department. Three Magellanic penguins have hatched in Active Oceans and six Caribbean flamingos were hatched in the bird nursery.

In addition, the education team has been busy planning extra curricular free summer fun! There are new talks, including ‘Wild Experience’ in the outdoor theatre arena and ‘Get to Know our Elephants’ public Q&A with the elephant keepers.

There’s also a sensory trail featuring Toco the Titi monkey, a conservation station touring the zoo exhibiting elephant artefacts and caricaturist will be painting caricatures for visitors with profits being donated to the Biodiversity Elephant Conservation Trust.

Last, but certainly not least, children will be able to take part in the zoo’s #ConservationRocks project by painting rocks and hiding them round the zoo for other people to find!

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Coordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “It has been an absolutely amazing start to the year here at Blackpool Zoo and there is a real buzz in the air!

“The hugely anticipated grand opening of Project Elephant Base Camp was a great success and visitors have been enjoying catching up with Kate and meeting our newest residents Minbu and Tara.

“The excitement doesn’t end there though as we are awaiting a date for the arrival of Esha and Noorjahan, who will be joining us before the end of the year.

“We have also been celebrating lots of births and hatchings here at the zoo and there are cute babies to be seen around almost every corner!

“The summer holidays are always our favourite time of year and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the UK and beyond!

“Here’s to a sensational summer season!”

Blackpool Zoo is open every day throughout summer from 10.00am until 6.00pm.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk

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The multi award-winning Blackpool Zoo has it all! The zoo is situated in 32 acres of spacious, mature parkland with lakes. All your favourites are here – big cats, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, orang-utans and 'Blue Peter' TV stars, the sealions.

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