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Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is located in Doncaster, England. It has been operating since April 2009.

The park is privately owned.

In 2019 Yorkshire Wildlife Park welcomed 750,000 guests.

Attractions

Amphitheatre

The amphitheatre houses a range of shows introducing you to bugs in a fun way.

Monkey Play House and Zoom Super Slide Barn

This indoor facility allows kids to let off steam in the play area while parents can grab a coffee. Features are a wooden play feature with carved baboons and a 6.1m (20ft) long slide.

Outdoor play areas

Several play areas are located around the grounds with features such as a zip line, climbing structures, big bugs, slides and obstacle courses.

Location

Doncaster,

South Yorkshire, England

Year Opened

2009

Land Size

110ha (260acres)

Number of Animals

400

Number of Species

70

History

The land currently occupied by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park used to be the site of the Brockholes Farm Visitor Centre. The site was bought in 2008 by Cheryl and Neville Williams, keepers from Woburn Safari Park and their business partner John Minion.

Throughout the winter of 2008 and 2009 the site was renovated into the wildlife park. Justin Fletcher, MBE otherwise known as Mr Tumble from CBeebies opened the park on April 4 2009.

During its opening year, the zoo attracted 66,00 visitors. This had risen to 323,000 in 2011. During 2013 440,000 people came through the gates. By 2015 this number had increased to 678,000.

During 2010 the zoo opened its facility for a pride of lions rescued from Romania. This was followed by the Land of the Tigers Amur tiger facility the next year.

In 2012 the Amur leopard habitat, leopard heights, was opened.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation was established during 2013 to support conservation work around the world.

Polar bears arrived at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in 2014 to live in the Project Polar Reserve.

In 2017 they announced a 150 acre expansion to the park on previously undeveloped land. This area will include a new entrance, hotel, cafes and retail areas. During 2020 the first stages of this expansion opened with enclosures for spotted hyena, gelada, red panda and otters.

Star Animals

Romanian lion rescue

During August in 2009 Oradea Zoological Garden in Romania sent out a call for help. They wanted to send their 3 prides of African lions who were living in enclosures 4.6 by 3.7m (15 by 12 feet) which were in atrocious conditions to a better home.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park combined with the News of the World to run a fundraiser for a new 4 hectare (10 acre) home and the transport costs. These were to total £150,000. The wildlife Park managed to raise £126,000 pounds in 8 weeks and the rescue was approved by both countries governments in December 2009.

The lions were set to move during February 2010 by lorry. Romania suffered one of its worst winters ever and they thought this would be dangerous to the animals. As such Jet2.com offered to fly the lions free of charge from Budapest aboard the Lion Express.

This touched down at Robin Hood Airport on February 11 2010. They were moved into quarantine that day and spent the next 6 months on a program to gain weight and improve their health. It was not until May 25 2010 that they first went out into the enclosure.

Main Exhibits

Project Polar

The project polar reserve opened on August 18 2014. It provides a home for bears retired from the breeding program and those which are rescued from bad conditions such as hot climates. It features a 6500sqm pool which is filled with 25.5 million liters of water.

Lion Country

This enclosure is home to a pride of lions which were rescued from Romania.

Land of the tigers

This enclosure is home to the zoo’s Amur tigers. It features a large pool which has a waterfall. Visitors can experience it from a boardwalk above the enclosure.

Leopard heights

This £300,000 reserve allows visitors to come face to face with critically endangered amur leopards. They can be viewed from an 8m (26ft) high viewing platform or a 10m (32ft) long glass wall.

Into Africa

Opened in 2016 this immersive experience provides views over a savannah featuring lechwe, ostrichzebragiraffeseland and addax. Nearby the endangered black rhinoceros can be seen enjoying its own paddock.

Lemur woods

Visitors get the opportunity to walk amongst the black and white ruffed lemurs, ring tailed lemurs and brown lemurs.

Wallaby walkabouts

Visitors enter the enclosure of the wallaby’s and can get up close to them.

South American Viva

In this enclosure visitors, can walk amongst the maracapybara, agouti, rhea and howler monkeys. Nearby are enclosures for giant anteatergiant otter and small primates.

Baboon Reserve

This reserve houses the zoo’s troop of guinea baboons alongside the monkey play house.

Meerkat and Mongoose Manor

At the entrance to the park is an exhibit featuring meerkats and yellow mongoose. It recreates the harsh South African desert but the exhibit features creature comforts such as heated rocks and deep sand for digging.

Simien Mountains

This new habitat houses the zoos group of geladas.

Hyenas of Harar

In this enclosure visitors can view a family of spotted hyenas.

Himalayan Pass

Walking along the Himalayan Pass you will see red pandas and smooth coated otters.

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