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.
Fota Island was featured in a recent article by The Irish Post which listed it’s ten favourite islands off the Irish coast. With many of Ireland’s islands already popular tourist destinations in their own right such as the Aran Islands, there are a multitude of wonderful hidden and not-so-hidden gems to be discovered.
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.”
It has been an eventful summer on Fota Island with so much happening including the introduction of The Asian Sanctuary at the Wildlife Park and, of course, the hosting of the Irish Open at the neighbouring Fota Island Cork Golf Club. However, one of the more significant events which was slightly overlooked was the birth of a red panda cub almost 3 months ago. The cute little redhead has being spotted on numerous occasions around the park with its mother Bonnie since the birth and has become a firm favourite with visitors to the Wildlife Park, Fota House and the 5 star Cork hotel and golf resort.
A few summers ago we in 2012 we noted how the impromptu birth of a baby giraffe later named Aoibheann stole the spotlight from what was to be the first public appearance of another baby giraffe Casey to the adoring public.
In August 2012 resident Rothschild giraffe Blaithin presenting for the first time her three week old calf, Casey, looked set to be the star attraction for visitors to Fota Wildlife Parks African Savannah that is until another giraffe Sapphire decided to give birth to Aoibheann in front of the assorted crowds, somewhat stealing the limelight from the original stars Blaithin and Casey.
Switch to present day and the same two adult giraffes involved in that dramatic day, Blaithin and Sapphire, are mothers again both having recently unveiled their latest assorted offspring (born within days of each other) to the crowds at the Fota Island based wildlife park last week. And unlike last time there were no surprises for the visitors to the popular park with the calves a male and a female having been born to their respective mothers Blaithin and Sapphire within 2 days of each other in late January.
The popular tourist attraction Fota Wildlife Park, celebrated its 30th Birthday with a summer carnival on June 23rd.
Fota Wildlife Park is a non profit organisation that has been supported by the people and for the people of Fota and Cork. UCC and Dublin Zoo came up with the idea for the park thirty years ago and since its humble beginnings, Continue reading
On Thursday the 9th of May, the Pavilion in Cork acted as the host for the launch of Fota Wildlife Park’s Summer Carnival which will celebrate the popular attraction’s 30 years in business.
The return of popular children’s puppet Bosco was just one of the reasons behind the huge turnout for the launch. Magician Tony Baloney, mentalist Liam Sheehan and Cork Circus act Hakuna Matata also performed to the captivated audience. Continue reading