Forest of Birds and Twilight World will close as part of the preparations for leaving Bristol Zoological Society’s site at Bristol Zoo Gardens and creating a new Bristol Zoo.
They will shut for the final time on January 4, 2022 but the rest of the Zoo will remain open until it closes finally in autumn 2022.
Visitors will continue to see their favourite animals including the gorillas, red pandas, giant tortoises, lions, flamingos, sloths, meerkats and the tree kangaroo among many more. Large exhibits, including undercover areas, such as Seal & Penguin Coasts and Bug World will stay open.
Forest of Birds and Twilight World have been two of the less visited exhibits in the Zoo over recent years - also due to the COVID-19 pandemic and avian flu precautions.
Together the two exhibits have just 19 species of animals between them. Following these exhibit closures Bristol Zoo Gardens will still have almost 300 species on show for visitors to see.
The Bristol Zoo Gardens team is also busy planning special celebratory events for visitors in spring and summer 2022, to mark the Zoo’s final year at the Clifton site.
The closure is part of the plan that will see a new, world-class Bristol Zoo open on the site of Wild Place Project in 2024.
Some of the animals from Bristol Zoo Gardens will be moving to the new Bristol Zoo, such as the gorillas, red pandas, and a host of reptiles, fish, birds, amphibians and invertebrates, once new exhibits and a new Conservation Breeding Centre are built. Additional animals, not currently at Bristol Zoo Gardens or Wild Place Project will also be at the new Zoo and these will be announced next year.
The animals that will not be moved to the new Bristol Zoo will be found new homes at other zoos and aquariums across the UK and Europe, as part of already-established, cooperative breeding programmes.
Closing a zoo is a complex operation and for the good of all the animals involved it will be carried out in stages. Some of the birds from Forest of Birds will be moved to different aviaries in Bristol Zoo Gardens.
A number of the animals in Twilight World will be going to other zoos and wildlife parks in the UK and Europe. The process of finding new homes can take anything from a few weeks to several months depending on the species and where the animals are going.
This involves curators working with colleagues in other zoos to find the best places for the animals. Each animal then undergoes routine vet checks to ensure it is healthy before leaving Bristol Zoo Gardens. Animals that are part of a family group will be found a new home together, wherever possible.
A number are part of co-ordinated breeding programmes. In these cases new homes will be found by the programmes’ co-ordinators. But in every instance the animals will only go to licensed zoos and wildlife parks that have the same high welfare standards as at Bristol Zoo Gardens.