WHAT IS PROJECT ELEPHANT?
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.
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 2018. 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.
This is an incredibly exciting moment in Blackpool Zoo’s history. It is the latest, and the largest, in a series of significant investments at the zoo, which have attracted millions of visitors in the past decade. Just last week I walked down to the site after the zoo had closed and it was very emotional to think that in just one year it will be transformed into a new home for elephants. The preparation and research has been thorough and finally breaking ground on the development was a monumental step in Blackpool Zoo’s ongoing success story.~ Darren Webster, Zoo Director
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.