The UK’s largest and most ambitious brown bear exhibit is open just in time for the summer holidays, writes Keri Beckingham
A new multi-million pound woodland exhibit at Wild Place Project is now open to the public.
Called Bear Wood, the 7.5-acre exhibit will be home to four European brown bears, five wolves, two Eurasian lynx and two wolverines. Nestled among ancient woodland, it features a ‘time chamber’ which transports visitors back in time to when these magnificent creatures were once native and lived in and around Bristol. In addition, visitors will also be able to access an immersive bear-viewing den, with 180-degree and floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a raised wooden walkway, which will take them on a journey through the trees at heights of up to several metres – offering a truly unique view of the animals.
Speaking about the opening, Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Wild Place Project, said: “Not only is this the most significant new addition to Wild Place Project that we have created to date but we are confident that this will be the best and most immersive bear exhibit in the country.
He added: “Bear Wood tells the story of the UK’s ancient woodland and the charismatic species that once inhabited it – now brought back in one spectacular immersive experience. We hope Bear Wood will also inspire visitors about the woodland and wildlife we have left, encouraging them to protect what remains.”
Located just off junction 17 of the M5, Wild Place Project is a fun, family attraction that invites visitors to take a glimpse into eco-systems from around the world, including Madagascar, Cameroon, the Congo, and ancient British woodlands. It offers the chance to see animals including giraffe, cheetahs, wolves, zebra, gelada baboons, meerkats, lemurs, okapi, red-river hogs and eland, and provides outdoor adventure, play and learning with an emphasis on protecting threatened habitats on our doorstep and around the globe.
For more information, visit www.wildplace.org.uk/bearwood