Hitting the heights! Sneak peek at new Sun Bear Heights attraction coming to Paradise Wildlife Park
- Credit: Paradise Wildlife Park
As zoos welcome back visitors to indoor areas, one of Hertfordshire's leading tourist attractions has shared a sneak peek of a new habitat opening later this year.
Families were able to wander through Paradise Wildlife Park's primate and reptile habitats for the first time this year on Monday when lockdown restrictions eased and the country moved to Step 3 of the government's roadmap.
The wildlife park in Broxbourne posted on its Instagram page: "Due to government restrictions being lifted, we can now welcome our visitors back into our amazing indoor habitat areas on the zoo such as Reptile Temple, Amazon and Beyond, and Rainforest building!
"These buildings house some amazing animals such as our new baby pygmy marmoset, the UK's largest on show anaconda, and so much more!"
A new enclosure is also taking shape at the White Stubbs Lane site, with Sun Bear Heights due to open later this year, although the exact date hasn't been confirmed yet due to delays caused by a combination of COVID-19 and Brexit.
A first in the UK, the habitat will house a couple of playful sun bears along with binturongs.
On International Sun Bear Day at the weekend, managers at the wildlife park gave supporters a first look at the upcoming habitat through CGI images and a video.
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A spokesperson for PWP said of Sun Bear Heights: "Not only does this bring two new incredible species to the park, sun bears and binturongs, but it’s also the first mixed exhibit of its kind in the UK with Asian small-clawed otters as well.
"Each species will have their own individual habitats as well as having areas where they can all mix together should they chose to do so."
They normally live in the dense jungles of Malaysia and are known for spending a lot of time in the tops of trees.
Sun bears have a beautiful and unique golden marking across their chest, which is where they get their name from.
The smallest species of bear, they standing only four feet on their hind legs.
Paradise's Asian short-clawed otters will be given access into the new area that will also house the park's second new species, binturongs.
Also known as ‘bear cats’ despite not actually being related to bears or cats, binturongs are unusual looking mammals that are actually related to civets and fossas.
They also have a distinct scent that happens to smell like popcorn.
Sun Bear Heights is designed to educate visitors about the problems facing the bears in particular and will even feature a section that will have bear bile cages for people to climb into.
It will also give visitors the opportunity to view the bears at the heights of the treetops, where they spend most of their time, via a treetop walkway and café.
The Zoological Society of Hertfordshire base is home to more than 800 exotic animals including tigers, lions, snow leopards, penguins, red pandas, lemurs, monkeys and reptiles, as well as animatronic dinosaur attraction World of Dinosaurs.
New for 2021, families will be able to experience the park after its normal closing time.
Summer Evenings at Paradise Wildlife Park will see both the World of Animals and World of Dinosaurs remain open so that you can enjoy the zoo's wonderful animals and dinosaurs during the famous summer golden hour.
You can get tickets for Summer Evenings every Friday and Saturday evening from July 30 to August 28.
So relax in the park's chill out zones, and listen to the incredible sound of Moto, the white lion, roaring in the distance.
You will be able to indulge in a deliciously fruity Pimm's or a crisp G&T from roaming carts. Performing artists will flip, twirl and entertain guests as the sun goes down and the evening will also showcase Hertfordshire's musical talent.
Pre-book your tickets at www.pwpark.com/product/day-tickets