15 / 12 / 2021
Moving ever closer to a new Bristol Zoo

We are looking to 2022 full of optimism and excitement about our work to create the new Bristol Zoo.

The new Bristol Zoo will be world-class, one with conservation at its heart, one which will set people talking and thinking and inspiring them to take action to save wildlife.

It is set to open in 2024 and we are still in the planning stages because as you can imagine it is a huge project. But discussions are taking place and plans are progressing.

What we can say is that the new Bristol Zoo will have a wide range of animals and importantly around 80 per cent of them will have a direct link to our conservation work.

For instance our troop of western lowland gorillas at Bristol Zoo, which will be moving to the new Bristol Zoo, will not only help maintain the conservation breeding population of this Critically Endangered species but be there for conservationists to study and learn how they behave, to help protect their counterparts in the wild. 

The new Bristol Zoo will see gorillas and mangabey in a mixed-species exhibit, similar to those shown here at Dublin Zoo
Visitors to the new Bristol Zoo will be able to see the gorillas and learn about our conservation work in Equatorial Guinea to help safeguard their species. Our gorillas will share a specially-designed forest-like exhibit with Endangered cherry-crowned mangabey monkeys. They will live together just as they would in the wild. 

This will be part of a Central African forests exhibit, one of a number of new areas which will make up the new Bristol Zoo on Bristol Zoological Society’s here at Wild Place Project. There will also be Endangered African grey parrots, Critically Endangered slender-snouted crocodiles and extremely rare species of West African fish which visitors will be able to see in a new underwater viewing area.

Importantly there will be a dedicated conservation breeding centre too, built to house some of the world’s most threatened species of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds..
Almost all of these animals will be categorised as Critically Endangered or Extinct in the Wild on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The scale and the vision of what we are planning is genuinely exciting. Zoos and wildlife parks across the world are watching with great interest.

Every time I go to Wild Place Project I stand and just imagine what is going to happen here in the next couple of years. I can’t wait to see the new Bristol Zoo open in 2024. Of course there is still a long way to go, but we are making great strides. 

Not all of our animals will be coming with us. Some will find new homes in zoos and wildlife parks in this country and Europe. And although we are closing our Clifton site in autumn 2022 we will take the spirit of Bristol Zoo Gardens with us. The things that have drawn families there for 185 years will still exist at the new Bristol Zoo.

Our passion for animals, our desire to look after them and our mission of saving wildlife will not merely continue at our new home but they will grow.

And would Johnny Morris, our old friend from TV’s Animal Magic, approve? You know, I genuinely think he would. He understood, as we do, that a zoo is more than somewhere simply to see animals, and have a fun family day out. It's a place where people can connect with nature, learn about animals and take away everlasting memories. But I think he would also appreciate that these days a zoo can be much more than that. 

The new Bristol Zoo will be a beacon of wildlife conservation linked to 10 countries across the world. And in every one we will be working with communities - Saving Wildlife Together.
Find out more about the exciting future of Bristol Zoological Society here.



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