- FREE Admission for Mums 25TH-26TH March 2017
- Admissions open today 10:00AM - 3.45PM
- Closes today at 4:30PM
- Car park closes at 5:00PM
- Opens tomorrow 10:00AM - 4:30PM
- Admission only available at Melton Terrace entrance (LA12 0LU)
Message From Cumbria Zoo Company Limited
The decision in front of Barrow Borough Council 6/3/17 relates to the application for Mr Gill for a fresh licence.
Cumbria Zoo Company’s application to hold a zoo licence has been submitted and we will have our licencing inspection later this month and the licencing process will then continue.
We are aware of the decision to refuse Mr Gills application. Safari Zoo remains open and CZCL need your support.
Cumbria Zoo Company Limited (Cumbria Zoo) was formed in 2016 with the purpose of taking over the operation of South Lakes Safari Zoo. In November 2016 Cumbria Zoo gave notice of their intention to apply for a zoo licence under the Zoo Licensing Act (1981). Whilst awaiting the licencing process, due to be finalised in the second quarter of 2017, Cumbria Zoo officially took over the operation of Safari Zoo on the 12th January this year. Subsequently, the whole zoo site came under the operational control of Cumbria Zoo on the 23rd January 2017.
We are passionate about our animals and about ensuring a culture of care and love, meeting their needs to showcase our animals and allowing them to engage with visitors, whilst being valued and respected. Cumbria Zoo is thoroughly committed to delivering high standards of animal welfare for the animals in our care and others impacted by our conservation activities. We have a global approach to meeting our animal welfare needs, focusing on the physical needs of the individual animals as well as their psychological requirements. We aspire to the model of the ‘five domains’, aspiring to meet all of the requirements our animals need to have optimal quality of life.
Our team are focused and strive on a daily basis to provide opportunities and choice for our animals. Our philosophy is to ensure animals in our care are provided with an environment that is both stimulating and challenging. To support our commitment, we have surrounded ourselves with consummate professional zoo consultants knowledgeable and well respected within the zoo profession to develop and implement best practice across our animal operations and meet our wider vision.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed and despite the short time in which we have had sole operation of the site, we have developed and mitigated many of the welfare concerns that were inherited when we took over. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go and we never accept that we cannot improve our animal welfare provision. It is core to what we believe and what we do. However, words mean nothing – they are a philosophy and an idea. That is why we believe in action rather than looking to blame individuals or groups that may have led to the recent historical situation reported in the press. Our actions demonstrate our commitment through what we have achieved in the last few months and through the difficult process of reviewing where we were, what had to be done to make short term gains in animal welfare and plan for the future ensuring as we develop and welcome guests through our doors we can be proud of what we have achieved and know we have provided, and continue to improve upon, optimal animal welfare.
We have demanded of our consultants complete transparency and openness throughout the review process. A large proportion of the documentation released by Barrow Council was proactively provided by Cumbria Zoo to meet the requirements of the zoo licence inspection process as well as providing evidence of our robust welfare, operational and husbandry systems evolving at Safari Zoo. These include, but are not limited to:
- The commissioning of a complete animal welfare audit, including a review of mortality and morbidity statistics over the last five years; complete housing audit and stocking density review; nutrition audit; and development of effective enrichment programmes, to allow identification of areas of welfare concern and to allow rapid steps to be taken to implement positive change both in the short and the long term.
- A review of veterinary services, preventative and curative health provision, with a permanent veterinary nurse joining the team in late 2016 and the provision of new partners in animal health care to be implemented in March 2017.
- A complete review of population management, group structures and group dynamics to ensure rationalised numbers of animals are found on the site, with a reduction in many group sizes to ensure effective use of our facilities and resources, always aiming to provide optimal welfare.
- A proactive programme of maintenance and rebuilding across the animal enclosures, identifying priorities and addressing them in a sensible and practicable fashion. This is clearly seen with many changes occurring in the last four weeks including new hard stands for the hippos, improved substrates for the Chilean flamingos and penguins, large outdoor enclosures for our primates where previously they were limited to indoor housing only, and many others.
- A complete review and cultural change programme with regard to animal management, husbandry and welfare delivery. Ethical review programmes became proactive and effective tools for change, supported by senior management support of positive welfare changes across all species in the collection.
- These are just some examples of the far reaching and positive changes that are occurring across the site through Cumbria Zoo’s actions,. We know we have much more work to do to get to the levels we are striving for. Many other examples can be found in the online documents published in the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness Licensing Regulatory Committee 6th March 2017 Agenda, specifically Appendices Q, S, U, AA and BB.
In addition to the positive welfare and cultural changes that have occurred this year we are proud to announce that Cumbria Zoo Company Limited has been offered (and accepted ) the opportunity to buy South Lakes Safari Zoo Ltd, the former operating company managing Safari Zoo.
Questions have been asked of our dedicated team’s ability to enforce the changes needed. We know we can and we have demonstrated our commitment to Safari Zoo, the animals in our care and the legislative requirements of a modern operational zoo. Over the last six weeks we have been in complete control of the zoo and we have made significant improvements in many areas of the animal operation. In this period Safari Zoo, under the operational control of Cumbria Zoo Company Limited, has been inspected twice by Barrow Borough Council Officers and Secretary of State Zoo Licence Inspectors (18th January and 9th February 2017) and the feedback has been positive, with progress and improvements directly attributed to the hard work of Cumbria Zoo.
One such example of this trust in Cumbria Zoo was demonstrated during the January inspection where a zoo closure direction order was considered because of failing welfare standards in the Tambopata Aviary that was outside of our control at the time. The inspection team approached Cumbria Zoo and following discussions with South Lakes Safari Zoo Limited the area was handed over to Cumbria Zoo control and the area reviewed with mitigation strategies immediately put in place to resolve immediate and longer term welfare concerns.
The current situation is that South Lakes Safari Zoo is operated by Cumbria Zoo Company Limited, with Mr David Gill remaining the licence holder. The licence application for Cumbria Zoo is under review and the zoo can only operate under the licence of Mr Gill until the zoo licence for Cumbria Zoo is determined later this year. Mr Gill has clearly demonstrated his wish to pass his legacy to a new team whom will take the zoo forward in a positive, responsible manner ensuring legal compliance and best practice in animal husbandry, animal welfare and optimal guest experience in a safe, engaging environment for all the family. Mr Gill has no management, operational or other role in the operation of the Safari Zoo. Our formal inspection to assess compliance with the Zoo Licensing Act (1981) and the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice takes place in March and it is at that inspection the Secretary of State Zoo Licence Inspectors, eminent professionals and licencing officers will judge the suitability of Cumbria Zoo’s zoo licence application and make their recommendations to the Licencing Committee.
When Cumbria Zoo Company Limited took over operational control of Safari Zoo we took on a zoo with many challenges, without a penny in the bank, with responsibility for nearly 80 staff and significant financial liabilities. We believe in the zoo, in ensuring our animals are well looked after in a safe and suitable home and thank everyone for the support demonstrated by our many visitors, friends and colleagues over what has been a difficult week. It is because of the support we get from friends, family and visitors we can continue to develop and put into action our passion to make Safari Zoo a zoo that the team here can demonstrate to the world we are a positive force for change – both in the care of the animals on our site, the ability to engage our guests with the natural world and our impact to make effective changes through our conservation and educational programmes.
We have work to do, we know we do. A modern zoo should continually strive to be better in all it does. We are pushing hard to meet our goals, without compromise to achieve high standards for the animals in our care and for our staff and local community and we drive forward to earn Safari Zoo its place in the modern zoo community. Your support is all the more vital now.
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Welcome to all new SAFARI ZOO. We are the UK’s first SAFARI ZOO, a whole new concept in zoos not seen anywhere else. From the Swahili word meaning journey or expedition SAFARI ZOO is a unique journey into the animal kingdom.
Come face to face with and discover Rhinos, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Hippos, Wolves, Snow leopards, Jaguar, Giant otters, Primates, Vultures, Penguins and much, much more at the UK’s most interactive animal park and Europe’s only Safari Zoo. You’ll have a fantastic adventure immersed with some of the rarest wildest animals on the planet.
Join the keepers to hand feed giraffes every day, walk in amongst and hand feed penguins; wander amongst and discover kangaroo, lemurs, monkeys, free flying birds – including (for the brave) vultures and condors all living wild in the park. (Hand feeding wristbands are available to purchase T&C’s apply)
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