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Blog

They Must Have Been Fools – Zoo Celebrates 30 Years This April Fools Day

4th March 2014

30 years ago on April 1st 1984, the Sampson family in Broxbourne entered into their boldest venture yet, when they purchased Broxbourne Zoo, the worst zoo in Britain. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Paradise Wildlife Park are offering their guests entry to the park at the same price as it was in 1984, just £1.50. They only hope that visitors don’t take it for an April fools prank.

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Broxbourne Zoo, as it was then known, was privately owned by Cyril Stamp up to the mid 1970’s and then Peter Phipps to 1984. Unfortunately a day out at Broxbourne Zoo was remembered for very different reasons to those attributed to a day out at Paradise Wildlife Park. The zoo was notorious for poor animal facilities and by the early 1980's was widely regarded and documented as the worst zoo in Britain. Thankfully, the Sampson Family saw through the terrible reputation of Broxbourne Zoo when they purchased the site on the 1st April 1984. They could see the potential of the area for creating a Zoo the country could be proud of, with conservation and preservation of both rare and endangered animal species at its heart. With the Sampson's drive and passion for wildlife, the unbelievable transformation had begun.

It was the 1990's when the Sampson Family dream really started to take shape. The changing of the sites name to ‘Paradise Wildlife Park' signaled a new beginning of an increasingly brighter future for the site. This decade was vital to the development of the Park in all aspects; with the introduction of more spacious open enclosures, perhaps the most significant of which was the unveiling of ‘Tiger Lodge' a new purpose built enclosure for Bengal & Siberian tigers in 1994; and positive changes such as the move towards many ‘hands on' activities with the animals at the Park and an extensive on-site and off-site education programme. Three new themed adventure playgrounds were also introduced to make a day out at the site even more memorable for visiting families. All facilities at the site were given modern renovations, and changes were made to better accommodate and fulfill the needs of disabled people, with the happiness of the parks visitors of paramount importance. Unsurprisingly with each improvement visitor numbers to Paradise Wildlife Park soared.

Today, Paradise Wildlife Park is a very different zoo and one of only 14 zoos to be members of all three of the leading zoological associations, BIAZA, EAZA and WAZA. To date, they have raised over £2.5 million for conservation and will continue to raise much more into the future. 2013 was their busiest every year in 30 years, and they are looking forward to a repeat success in 2014.

The offer of a £1.50 entry on the 1st of April is genuine and not an April fool's joke. There is no need to call the park to verify this! Thank you.

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For more information about Paradise Wildlife Park, please visit our website at www.pwpark.com or alternatively our phone number is 01992 470490.

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