One of Cork’s most popular family attractions has welcomed an imposing new addition to Fota Island. Shanto is a male Asiatic lion who has arrived at Fota Wildlife Park from Spain, and joins the two female lions, Gita and Gira, who both arrived earlier in the year.
As you are all probably aware at this stage, Fota Wildlife Park is under a vigorous make over with the addition of a new park expansion which is said to be worth in the region of €6m. The latest news from the project is that pandas are set to be just one of the many new animals to make their home in what will be one of the biggest parks of its kind in Europe once completed.
The park, which sees its first change in 30 years, are hoping to secure two rare giant pandas and hope that Cork’s twinning with Shanghai, China will make things easier. A spokesperson for the park revealed just how difficult it would be to secure two giant pandas as he pointed out that only one zoo in the UK alone houses the beautiful animals. The 28 acre expansion will also boast other exotic animals including Indian rhinos and Asiatic lions at the new Asian sanctuary.
As Fota celebrates its 30th anniversary this year 2013, plans are afoot for a €6m expansion that will add almost 40% percent to its wildlife reserve area. The new extension an ambitious Asian sanctuary will see the park bring in tigers, lions and rhinos to add to its large selection of wildlife. Whilst the proposed new section should open in 2015, plans are already starting with planning permission for the 25-acre Asian-themed wildlife reserve already submitted. Later on in 2013 Fota will get its first two Sumatran tigers, a breeding pair, who will be the stars of the new project, arriving from zoos in France and Germany by September.
The wildlife park, a popular tourist destination in east Cork, is already noted worldwide for being a top breeding centre for endangered species, its cheetah programme in particular being ranked as one of the most successful in the world. Fota aims to transfer this success to the Sumatran tiger whose numbers have depleted in the last decade. Continue reading