Project Elephant is the next phase in the ongoing development of Blackpool Zoo.
It's the single biggest investment we've ever made, and it'll see the overall footprint of the zoo increase by a further 3 acres.
We'll be opening our new Elephant Facility in Summer 2017, as part of our 45th anniversary celebrations.
This has been in the planning pipeline for five years, and will mean we can successfully house a herd of Asian Elephants for years to come.
Project Elephant is our biggest single investment to date, and will secure the future of elephants at Blackpool Zoo.
The indoor facility, which has been specially designed around the complex welfare need of the mammoth species, will feature a raised viewing platform, meaning visitors can come face to face with the impressive residents.
The entrance to the new elephant facility will be located next to the Dinosaur Safari, which is also being revamped as part of the project. In addition there will be a new Asian themed food outlet.
Externally, the public will enjoy unobstructed views of the elephants in their huge paddock, which is around 2.5 times bigger than our current elephant paddock, which will include a sanded area complete with bathing pool and waterfall and a landscaped grass field.
WHERE WILL IT BE?
The new development is taking place in a previously unused area of the zoo currently hidden behind the Dinosaur Safari, which will itself be upgraded to provide the entrance to this exciting new exhibit. You might be able to catch a glimpse of the construction from the top car park, although its sheer size and scale won’t be apparent until the new elephant house opens in 2017. As it's being developed on an unused area of land, there won't be any disruption within the zoo itself or to your experience.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE CURRENT ELEPHANT HOUSE?
After housing elephants for nearly 45 years, the old aircraft hangar which is our current Elephant House is part of some exciting future plans, which may even see new species brought to the zoo. Currently, our five year plan suggests the area would be to transformed into an Asian Tropical House and to bring back rhinos, a species housed here for a few years in the very early days in the 1970's. Other species may include Asian birds and reptiles, but this development is still at the early stages of discussion. All we can guarantee is that it will be very exciting and it will add a new dimension to your day out at Blackpool Zoo.
THE BACKGROUND TO PROJECT ELEPHANT
We've been working on the plans for Project Elephant for at least five years. Our current Elephant and Reptile House was an aircraft hangar during World War II and it was put to good use for large mammals when the zoo opened in 1972. However, recommendations for the keeping of elephants has changed over the years with the importance of animal welfare and health and safety considerations becoming more prominent. Our Director and senior animal staff looked at various elephant facilities in the UK and Europe and have combined the best features to create an outstanding development here.
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