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Conservation proposal approved for Bristol Zoo Project

by | 22 Jan 24 | Landscape Architecture, Nature & Biodiversity, News

Bristol Zoological Society has partnered with Grant Associates and Feilden Clegg Bradley to secure planning permission for the new Central African Forest habitat at its Bristol Zoo Project site, which will be home to several critically endangered species.

© Grant Associates

Western lowland gorillas and cherry-crowned mangabeys will be living together for the first time in a UK zoo as part of the charity’s conservation efforts.

As well as critically endangered slender-snouted crocodiles, endangered African grey parrots and other threatened species of West African freshwater fish.

The habitat’s development is a step towards the Society’s plan to create a new conservation zoo, where at least 80% of species will be connected to its conservation work in both the UK and around the world.

The gorillas and mangabeys will be living in an area four and a half times the size of the gorilla troop’s current home at the former Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Central African Forest has been designed to encapsulate the density of the Equatorial Guinea forest and landscape- home of the Society’s largest conservation projects focused on gorillas and other threatened forest species.

“All of the mammals, birds, reptiles and fish that will live in the Central African Forest are classified as threatened in the wild,” says director of conservation and science at Bristol Zoological Society, Brian Zimmerman.

“The creation of this habitat not only presents a unique opportunity for us to bring these wonderful creatures together and expand our conservation work, it also enables us to participate in, and lead, managed breeding programmes, which will help to protect them in the future.”

The new habitat will have integrated learning spaces to encourage visitors of all ages to observe, record and appreciate animals in a natural scene.

© Grant Associates

To mark the occasion, new CGI film clips have been released by the Society which provide a glimpse into the new habitat which looks to open next year.

Landscape architect Grant Associates has led the design of the overall habitat and siting of viewing spaces, while Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has designed the buildings to coherently blend with the landscape.

Justin Morris, chief executive of the conservation charity adds that “creating a new environment such as this helps to raise vital awareness of the risks these species are facing and the efforts we can all take to save wildlife together.”

Bristol Zoo Project will remain open throughout development, with work scheduled to begin in the spring- completion is expected for next year.

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