Fota Wildlife Park featured in Best Day Out in Ireland contest

With the summer months upon us, The Irish Times in partnership with Discover Ireland have been running an interesting contest entitled ‘Best Day Out in Ireland‘ to discover Ireland’s most popular attractions, leisure experiences and outdoor venues. The competition was open to all readers of The Irish Times and received almost 2,000 entries.

The criteria for inclusion covered the whole island of Ireland, both north and south, with ‘days out’ ranging heritage experiences, outdoor activities, galleries, museums plus lots more. The contest received a whole catalogue of interesting, unique and brilliant-sounding suggestions One of the readers’ 50 favourite destinations was County Cork’s very own Fota Wildlife Park, the near neighbour of Fota Island Resort. This is what one reader, Cian O’Connor, had to say about the Wildlife Park:

“A wonderful day out for both adults and kids. A beautiful walk in the sun or rain with all sorts of exotic creatures to keep everyone entertained. Easily accessible by rail or car, and – for those of us lucky enough to live locally – very reasonable prices with the season pass.”

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Fota preparing for proposed 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