Blackpool Zoo reveals plans for new Big Cat House

Lions and tigers living at Blackpool Zoo are set to get a new home after the attraction revealed plans to build a new Big Cat House.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 5:45 pm

Proposals have been submitted to Blackpool Council seeking permission to partially demolish the existing enclosure at the zoo on East Park Drive and build a new single storey building with 5.3 metre high security fencing.

Design features will prioritise the welfare of the animals, who currently include tiger Alyona and lions Wallace and Khari, and the safety of the public.

The new structure would provide about 100 metres square of additional paddock space, and include a viewing area for visitors.

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Blackpool Zoo's tiger Alyona

It would be the latest major investment at the zoo since the multi-million pound Project Elephant Base Camp opened in March 2018.

A design brief accompanying the application says: “The proposed development comprises the demolition of the existing big cats building, a larger and improved replacement building and an increase in the size of the associated paddocks.

“The proposal is part of an ongoing investment in the zoo to improve facilities for the animals in line with current standards for animal welfare in zoos.

“The location of the new building is set by the requirement to be central to the paddocks either side of the building which cater for different animals, currently tigers and lions.

“It will therefore be the same width as the existing building but with an increased front to back dimension to give a footprint approximately 100 metres square larger than the existing.”

The plans show two public viewing dens, pens for looking after the animals, and accommodation for keepers plus an area for deliveries.

A covered veranda would be created at the front of the building to provide a public sheltered area for views into the pens and to the paddocks.

The Big Cat House design would be themed following the completion of building work with signage and information about the animals.

Only zoo staff and animal welfare operators would be allowed inside the building, where the “overriding consideration will be for the safety of the public”.

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