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Talk to the animals at Christmas

Johnpaul Houston, Head of Birds and Reptiles at Blackpool Zoo.

Johnpaul Houston, Head of Birds and Reptiles at Blackpool Zoo.

Keepers at Blackpool Zoo are urging visitors to come and wish the animals a very Merry Christmas over the festive season.

The award winning attraction is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, meaning the animals are always ready to welcome tourists.

It has been another record-breaking year at Blackpool Zoo with a whole host of new additions and special birthday celebrations.

Easter saw the birth of a baby Pileated Gibbon, an endangered species that is very difficult to breed.

Staff at the zoo were delighted to welcome the little baby, whose sex is yet to be determined, who will play a vital role in the European Breeding Programme.

Moanda, the Western Lowland gorilla, celebrated his first birthday complete with mashed potato birthday cake. He is the first male, and only the second baby gorilla ever to be born at Blackpool Zoo.

More than 270 eggs were hatched in the zoo’s new bird nursery and specialist keepers have successfully handreared species including Guineafowl, Demoiselle Canes, Caribbean flamingos, African Spoonbills, Black-cheeked Lovebirds,
Sacred Ibis, Little Egrets, Blue-Crowned Conures and a Western Galah Cockatoo.

The chicks including, Gandalf and Pippin the two Magellanic penguins that hatched in May, were successfully re-introduced to the rest of their groups later this year.

The zoo’s most recent addition was in the form of a baby Vicugna, which rounded off another great summer season.

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo said: “We have had another fantastic year here at the zoo and would love visitors to come and join us over the Christmas break. It is always brilliant to see families enjoying themselves, particularly at this time of year.

“We are only closed on Christmas Day so that gives everyone time to wrap up warm to come and catch up with their favourite animals. The zoo will close at 3.45pm on Christmas Eve and re-open on Boxing Day at 10am to resume festivities.”

2014 promises to be another exciting year with the introduction of “Zoo School”, an educational initiative for 12 – 14 year olds, and the return of the orang utans on completion of their new house.

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