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Yet another lockdown victim: Bristol Zoo – home to TV favorite Animal Magic – shuts its doors after 186 years due to declining visitor numbers caused by Covid restrictions
- Bristol Zoo Gardens has been open for 186 years on the edge of Clifton Downs
- Society has said they were ‘forced’ to sell due to pandemic restrictions
- More than 90 million people have visited the zoo since it opened in 1836
The world’s oldest provincial zoo will close its main center tomorrow due to the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns.
Bristol Zoo Gardens, open for 186 years on the edge of Clifton Downs, will be transformed into sustainable homes, with the Bristol Zoological Society saying their ‘hands were forced’.
The association said: ‘For many years Bristol Zoo Gardens has faced various challenges. Namely declining visitor numbers, the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges of meeting the changing needs of the animals.”
The Bristol Zoological Society said their ‘hands were forced’ because of the pandemic and national lockdowns
The zoo has been open for 186 years on the edge of Clifton Downs (pictured)
A new zoo will be built and is expected to open in 2024 along the M5 north of Bristol, using the proceeds from the sale.
According to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquarium, 24 zoos were in danger of closing due to the third national shutdown.
However, the sector has recovered with visitor levels now returning to pre-pandemic levels.
More than 90 million people have visited the zoo since it opened, and it has housed famous residents such as Roger, the UK’s first black rhinoceros, and Alfred the gorilla.
More than 90 million people have visited the zoo since it opened, and a new site in a different location is expected to open in 2024 with proceeds from the sale.
Jo Judge, of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said education and conservation are at the heart of zoos and their work.
She said: ‘A modern zoo must first and foremost be a conservation organization.
Modern zoos do an enormous amount of work, both in the field of conservation and in the field of research that would not be possible with animals in the wild.’