2017 was the best year yet for Wild Place Project, with record-breaking visitor numbers and the opening of our spectacular new giraffe house.
The attraction celebrated its fourth birthday in the summer with the arrival of Gerry, Tom and Dayo, a trio of giraffe from Holland and Germany. The three have settled into their £1 million, two-storey giraffe house in the new Bénoué National Park exhibit.
Another popular arrival was Peter a new two-year-old male Grant’s zebra who arrived in the autumn to join Zak and Florence living alongside the giraffe.
The birth of twin white-belted ruffed lemurs to parents Ihosy and Hebus in spring has also been a huge boost for the captive breeding programme for this Critically Endangered species. Numbers of these animals are estimated to have declined 80 per cent in their native Madagascar over the last 20 years.
Other arrivals this year included three Kirk's dik diks called Croissant, Streusel and Sponge, who are now at home in a grassy paddock in the Walled Garden area.
We also welcomed overnight guests for the first time this year, as we opened Camp Baboon, a group of 10 bespoke cabin-style lodges, in July. Guests now have the unique opportunity to wake up in the wilderness among Wild Place Project’s inhabitants.
Nigel Simpson, head of operations at Wild Place Project, said: “We are thrilled with how the site is developing and continuing to be enjoyed by so many people all year round. More than 210,000 people visited us last year, which is a 32 per cent increase on 2016’s visitors. We are very grateful for this continued support as the attraction grows year on year, and we look forward to everything 2018 will bring.”