Islands promises to take visitors on a special journey that will transport them to far-flung islands in South East Asia and will be home to a number of animals classed as critically endangered in the wild including Sumatran tigers, Sumatran orangutans and Visayan warty pigs.
The new attraction will see visitors set-off on their very own expedition through detailed recreations of habitats in Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi. Linked by a series of bridges and including a journey on water, the £40m scheme will bring conservation to life in what is one of the most ambitious zoo developments ever in Europe.
Jamie Christon, the zoo’s managing director, said: “Islands will see the dawning of a new age, creating an unparalleled visitor experience. Although our fabulous animals will provide a huge draw for visitors, the journey itself – all of the sounds, smells, colours and culture of these islands – will bring everything to life.
“Islands is about immersion – transporting visitors thousands of miles away to experience the splendour of the animals, plants and the cultural aspects of these far-flung places. It will take our visitors on an adventure where, for a couple of hours, they’ll feel like they’re exploring South East Asia.
“The details along the way help tell authentic stories of the amazing things that happen on these fantastically important islands, including our own vital field conservation work.”
Islands will showcase the zoo’s Act for Wildlife conservation activities as visitors navigate their way through mangroves, swamps, bamboo and tropical forests. It will also include Monsoon Forest, the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK and home to Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques and a new species for the zoo, the Sunda gharial crocodile.
Other animals visitors will encounter include banteng cattle, cassowaries, anoa and babirusa. Islands will open to the public on July 13.