Belfast Zoo
Belfast Zoo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Belfast Zoo Date opened 1933 Location Belfast, Northern Ireland Land area 55 acres (0.22 km 2) Coordinates 54°39'28.59"N 5°56'28.67"W Number of animals 1200+ Number of species 140 Website Belfast Zoological Gardens (Irish: Zú Béal Feirste) is a zoo in Belfast, Northern Ireland. [ edit] Recent developments The giraffe and zebra enclosure In 2005, the zoo survived a bid to have it closed. Councillor Chris McGimpsey from the Ulster Unionist Party raised the issue, citing the zoo's annual losses of £40,000 and his opposition to animal captivity. [ citation needed ] In February 2006, the zoo celebrated the birth of Benny, a Malayan Tapir. Benny is the fifth calf born at the zoo, as part of a worldwide breeding program to increase the numbers of the endangered animals. [ citation needed ] In June 2007, a Barbary Lion cub was born at the zoo. This was the first Barbary Lion to be born in Ireland. [ citation needed ] The cub was rejected by its mother and hand-reared at home by keeper Linda Frew. Lily the lion cub has been on display at the zoo since September 2007 with a Japanese Akita dog. Three baby giraffes, named Sallagh, Cotton and Moon, were born in July and August 2007. All three of the calves have been named after town names in Northern Ireland which begin with 'Bally'. Belfast Zoo's giraffes are all Rothschild's Giraffes and are part of a successful European Breeding Programme. Belfast Zoo has celebrated 28 giraffe births in the space of 12 years. Also in 2007, the zoo celebrated the arrival of three baby Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Bekily, Antanana, Rivo), a baby Moloch Gibbon (Belle), a baby Purple-Faced Langur (Len), a baby Lion-Tailed Macaque (Ripple), a Californian Sea Lion pup (Snickers) and a litter of Saddleback Pigs. In 2007, the zoo celebrated a record level of visitors with 258,000 people visiting the 55-acre (220,000 m 2) site [ citation needed ] In 2008, the zoo opened a new tropical rainforest which houses such animals as the Two-Toed Sloth, Red-footed tortoises and Rodrigues bats. The Rainforest House is a walk-through exhibition with tropical landscaping and a constant temperature of 27 degrees. [ citation needed ] Two white-nosed Coati have recently moved to Belfast zoo as well and are soon to be placed in the old red panda exhibit. The zoo has received funding to create a state-of-the-art visitor reception. [ citation needed ] The new entrance pavilion will include an upgraded souvenir shop, a visitors' centre, pay booths and a covered walkway to keep visitors dry in bad weather. The refurbishment will feature high-level roofing with plenty of natural light and interpretive panels showing current zoo events. There will also be multi-lingual signs and multimedia presentations showing the history of Belfast Zoo and wildlife in Northern Ireland. The current Zoovenir shop will double in size as a result of the upgrade and will offer a wider range of gifts. The zoo has been awarded £250,000 from the Tourism Development Scheme (TDS) from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to build the new reception area. [ citation needed ] The council has donated a further £300,000 to help with the increase in visitor numbers, which topped 64,000 in April 2007. [ citation needed ] Building work on the new area began at the end of November 2007 and lasted approximately eight months. The new reception opened in July 2008. [ citation needed ] [ edit] Floral Hall Located within the grounds of the zoo is a 1930s art deco ballroom, the Floral Hall. In the 1960s the hall was a popular venue for visiting musical artists including Pink Floyd and The Small Faces. The hall has been derelict since the outbreak of the The Troubles in the 1970s. Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust are planning to renovate the building, although Belfast City Council have yet to provide any funding. A lengthy search for a wealthy entrepreneur to fund the redevelopment of the building has so far proved fruitless. [ edit]


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