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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140111010 |
|Title:||A Year at YWP|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Park |
|ID & Publication:||20140111010 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
AWARD WINNING Yorkshire Wildlife Park has had another record breaking year. Nearly 440,000 visitors enjoyed the unique walk through attraction coming almost face to face with some of the world's most beautiful and rare animals.
There have been new arrivals, a string of awards and substantial improvements in facilities including the opening of the acclaimed Monkey Play House.
But while offering a superb visitor experience YWP has kept conservation at the heart of all its activities.
Here in photos is the year that was 2013.....
YWP is an all year attraction - offering a picturesque setting in the snow for visitors to come almost face to face with some of the most endangered species on the planet. Many of its animals feel completely at home when the temperatures drop, including the Siberian Tigers and the Amur Leopards, also from Russia.
YWP's ground breaking £1.2m 600m play complex opened in February - offering visitors a weather proof haven. The Monkey Play House has three levels of wooden climbing frames, towers, dens, slides, swings and rope bridges - the perfect place to shelter from the rain or blazing sun. There is also a 120 seater eaterie offering drinks and a special view for children, which was revealed in time for Easter.
In March YWP's new troop of 17 baboons arrived to move into their new home at YWP. Uniquely, children playing in the Monkey Play House can see the baboons through a giant glass wall - and even have the chance to play rope-activated game in which the monkeys can win a treat. Visitors can also view the baboons from an external walkway.
Four year-old YWP celebrated not only its one millionth human visitor in April, but also two unexpected arrivals after the birth of twin Ring Tailed lemurs. Mischievious Fig and Fudge are still keeping their dad Tink and mum Humbug extremely busy in Lemur Woods along with their three brothers!
YWP celebrated Love Your Zoo week with special animal enrichment sessions – much to the enjoyment of visitors and the lions. The whole pride, rescued from appalling conditions in a Romanian Zoo, eagerly pounced on the packages delivered into Lion Country.
The park formed its own conservation charity to continue its work with breeds such as Amur Leopards and Tigers as well as the most endangered carnivore in Africa, the Painted Hunting Dog. Crusading YWP has been fundraising since its opening to raise thousands of pounds to help save one of Africa’s most endangered large carnivores, from extinction. YWP helped fly two specialist vets to Zimbabwe and in June news of two females giving birth to litters boosted their campaign.
Endangered Giraffe Jambo's celebrated his birthday in July - with a special oak branch. As he enjoyed his present, visitors signed an extra tall birthday card to mark his 4th birthday. Rothschild Giraffe Jambo, Palle aged 3, Jasper who is 13 years and 8 year-old Behansin are a firm visitor favourite in their £350,000 state-of-enclosure, which allows unrivalled access and views for visitors.
YWP had its busiest Summer to date and welcomed its strangest ever animal in August. Anteater Kounany, who was just 18 months old, arrived from Montpellier Zoo in France. Anteaters, also known as ant bears, are a rare, quirky breed with no teeth and survive by sucking up to 35,000 ants a day with their sticky 60 cm long tongues. YWP supports the BIAZA Reserve project in Brazil, one of the Giant anteaters key habitats.
Plans for the bid to rescue a polar bear from soaring temperatures and a concrete enclosure in a Mexican zoo were finalised in September.YWP has officially offered to rehome long suffering Yupi into a spectacular new polar bear reserve, which is already under construction.YWP is aiming to raise £150,000 towards the project which will be a centre for Polar Bear conservation as well as for polar bears in need of rescuing. The new 10 acre reserve is due to be completed in the Spring.
A rare Amur Tigress was cleared to move to YWP in October in a bid to help save the species. Tshuna, 3, will be introduced to one of YWP’s resident tigers Vladimir once she has acclimatised.
With only about 450 left in the wild the pair will hopefully one day have cubs and help keep the tiger population of this endangered species fit and healthy. Tschuna has quickly settled into her new home in Land of the Tigers, the world’s most spectacular tiger reserve. She is critical to future breeding and will eventually be introduced to Vladimir, who arrived in YWP in 2011.
YWP won an award in November - for protecting and caring for Amur Leopards, the most endangered big cat on the planet.
The park was given the Significant Advances in Animal Welfare and Husbandry Award from BIAZA for building Leopard Heights, the world’s largest and most spectacular leopard enclosure. With less than 45 remaining Amur Leopards in the wild, YWP work as part of the European breeding programme is crucial to their survival. The spectacular reserve with an 8 metre tall viewing tower and 10-metre long glass viewing wall for visitors pushed design boundaries – creating the perfect environment for resident leopards Denzil, Drake and Dimitri.
YWP's Meerkat Santa proved a smash hit for the third year running - with the furry Father Christmas entertaining thousands of children. On Christmas Day staff made sure all the animals enjoyed a treat by delivering a variety of gifts to the wildlife. Meanwhile, 2013 was rounded off with another two top awards. Judges at the Doncaster Chamber Business voted the park winners in the Excellence in Marketing and Communcations and Excellence in Customer Service categories.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM EVERYONE AT YWP!
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