It is officially time to brush off our Santa hats and start enjoying the mince pies (ok so we’ve already had a few, but we can find space for a few more…) – Christmas is here! And 2015 has been a truly fantastic year for all of us here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
We want to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thanks to all our loyal members and visitors over the past 12 months; 2015 has been the best year to date for us here at the zoo as we hit over 200,000 visitors for the first time ever. We first opened our doors to the public for a full season in 1999, and now, less than 20 years later, to have welcomed so many wonderful guests through our zoo doors has been a real blessing – so thank you all for joining us and making 2015 such a fantastic year.
Some of our personal highlights from the past year have been the superb buzz we’ve felt around every bank holiday weekend – in busy a Easter and August we welcomed a huge number of guests looking to experience some animal magic, and it’s safe to say our animals delivered!
We also enjoyed the great atmosphere generated from other events held in the area, such as the Bristol Balloon Fiesta (always an annual highlight) and the Weston Carnival. More recently our Nativity series kept guests entertained right up until we closed last weekend. We’re pretty sure our royal guest, HRH The Princess Royal who came to officially open our Elephant Eden habitat also helped to keep the momentum going right until the closing day of the year!
This year we’ve also extended our reach beyond Bristol, beyond the West Country and beyond the UK itself – as we’ve been working with zoo colleagues from around the world as we become more involved in the international zoo and conservation community. We’ve been working with international elephant consultant Alan Roocroft to further enhance our provision for elephants here at Noah’s Ark and also helping other zoos draw inspiration from our Elephant Eden to help them improve their offerings, too. Visitors from as far afield as Japan have also come to discuss our elephant programme and share ideas and research.
We’re also thrilled to announce that 2015 saw us officially begin work on our Andean Adventure. Come next spring we’ll be welcoming some spectacled bears into the Noah’s Ark family; and what we have in the working will be one of the largest and most enriched habitats for bears in the UK. Similar to our Elephant Eden habitat, our Andean Adventure will also include conservation, education and research benefits.
But without looking ahead too far don’t forget – there’s still two days left on our Animal Advent, so stay tuned to see the final batch of animal photos due to be uploaded on Facebook, plus catch up on any you missed.
We’re only closed for a fortnight over Christmas and reopen on Saturday 9th January, but our 20% off discount still applies for the whole of January, so don’t let the winter blues get you down and why not come pay our animals a New Year visit?
Merry Christmas from all the staff and animals at the zoo, and see you again soon in 2016!