Wild Place Project helps conserve endangered animals

The Wild Place Project is the first stage in the creation of a much bigger wildlife conservation park

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The first part of a wildlife conservation park has opened near Bristol with endangered animals from Madagascar, east Africa and the Congo.

The Wild Place Project like Bristol Zoo is part of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society.

Visitors can see much larger animals than those the zoo can house, including zebra, eland and okapi.

There is also a barefoot trail where people take off their shoes to walk on pebbles, bark and moss.

Endangered species

The project is laid out in zones allowing visitors to step from Madagascar to the edge of Africa and into secret Congo.

The emphasis is on education with information in the Madagascar zone explaining the work of sister organisation, the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation.

It is working with other European zoos to protect the last remaining populations of two critically endangered lemur species, the blue-eyed black lemur and the Sahamalaza sportive lemur.

"This is an extremely exciting first step on a wonderful journey towards creating the world-class National Wildlife Conservation Park," said Dr Bryan Carroll, CEO of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society.

When the wildlife park is completed in about 10 years it will be home to Sumatran tigers, brown bears and wolves.

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