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Blackpool Zoo to Invest £600,000 in Updated Home for Orangutans

Blackpool, UK (December 10, 2012) /PRWEB UK/ — Blackpool Zoo, a Parques Reunidos property, has announced that it will update its popular orangutan exhibit.  Vicky and her daughters, Cherie and Summer, along with resident male Ramon, will move to Chester Zoo whilst the extensive work is being carried out and will return for the grand unveiling of their new living quarters in spring next year.

The ape house, which was originally built in the 1970’s, will initially be tripled in size to make it wider and higher with an upstairs viewing area and extended keeper facilities.

A new, wider external walkway will be developed which will lead upstairs to an open plan viewing area, the ceiling will be much higher and the new house will feature more efficient heating and improved lighting.

The kitchen area, which will now be located on the first floor, will also be larger and include state of the art appliances.

Working in conjunction with zoo animal environment experts Zootech, keepers and management have designed the new layout based around the needs of the orang-utans, with enhanced visitor experience in mind.

The refurbishment is part of a three phase development which will be carried out over the course of the next few years. The next two stages will include the orangutan’s outside area be extended and made higher, a new play area for little visitors being developed across from the enclosure and the gorilla house will also be renovated and expanded.

Darren Webster, Blackpool Zoo’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that the planning and funding has been approved for this development and the new facility will be fantastic for our apes.

“Visitors will also benefit from improved views of the animals, which are firm favourites here in Blackpool.

“This is just the first of three exciting stages that will truly change the landscape of Blackpool Zoo and by working very closely with our keepers and Zootech we are confident that everyone, especially our orang-utans, will be delighted with the changes.”

Vicky, Cherie, Summer and Ramon will move to Chester Zoo in January and work will commence soon after. Keepers will have weekly contact with their counterparts at Chester and make regular visits to the orang-utans to ensure complete continuity in their care.

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo, added: “Our family of orangutans is very popular with our visitors and staff alike and they will be missed whilst they are on their extended holiday!

“I am sure there will be lots of people coming over the Christmas period to bid them farewell and I am sure we will see them receive a hero’s welcome when they return in Spring.”

Blackpool Zoo is open at 10.00am every day of the year except Christmas Day. From Monday 5th November 2012 to February 2013 closing time is 3.45 and last admission is 3.00pm. Visitors can save on admission prices by booking online at

More information about Blackpool Zoo:
Blackpool Zoo celebrated its 40th anniversary on Friday 6th July 2012. It was in 1972 when 3543 visitors attended the launch, which saw TV’s Johnny Morris ride in front of the Mayor’s car on Tower Circus elephant Katsula.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orangutans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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