Chester Zoo’s ‘Islands’ development will open at the Cheshire attraction on 23rd July. Made up of six distinct habitats that will give visitors a sense of having been transported to far-flung islands in South East Asia, the £40 million project is the biggest and most ambitious in the history of UK zoos.
The new attraction will see visitors set off on an 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. ‘Islands’ 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 (a flightless bird native to New Guinea and nearby islands), anoa (a type of midget buffalo) and babirusa (intriguingly nicknamed ‘pig-deer’). Islands will open on 13th July.