Doors Open on Project Elephant Base Camp
Blackpool Zoo has revealed the incredible results of its largest ever investment.
The multi-million pound elephant facility, which has been named Project Elephant Base Camp, will open to the public on Saturday 24th March.
It combines the UK's largest indoor elephant house with a huge outdoor habitat and an immersive themed visitor experience through Asia.
The expedition starts at the Nawala Street Food court, which transports people into the heart of Asia, serving a whole host of oriental and Indian culinary delights.
It is adorned with Nepalese inspired flags, a vibrant atmosphere and a Great Wall of China.
A winding trail to Base Camp will then take explorers into the wild jungles that are home to Asian elephants. There's mesmerising music, abstract art and the heady aroma of tropical plants.
Visitors will find themselves at eye level with the herd of elephants, which currently 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 the remaining two female elephants from Twycross and the search is on to identify a bull elephant to complete the group.
Last, but certainly not least, on the visitor journey is the huge indoor facility. The high-level viewing platform has been designed to give the best possible view of the elephants and a sweeping view across the indoor area, showing how enormous the space is.
The visitor viewing area walls are themed with an immersive jungle habitat and adorned with three-dimensional, interactive exhibits to teach people all about these magnificent animals.
Darren Webster, Director of Blackpool Zoo, said: "Our brand new concept in animal care, Project Elephant, will open visitors' eyes to the future of zoos and in-situ conservation programmes working together to preserve our most iconic species.
"The new facility is the result of years of planning and hard work by our keepers and elephant experts from across the UK and beyond, and I am absolutely delighted with the results.
"We aim to constantly evaluate and evolve our care programme to allow our elephants to be cared for to the highest level.
"We can share our knowledge with other collections to help the progression of captive elephant management programmes both in the UK and further afield.
"Project Elephant Base Camp is at the very heart of Blackpool Zoo's commitment to securing a future where Asian elephants can thrive -- in the zoo's care, in the care of others and in the wild."
Project Elephant has its own dedicated website, which can be found at www.projectelephant.org.uk