As we look towards 2022 we would like to take a moment and look at the incredible year we had in 2021. Even though this year was once again unique and unexpected we had some amazing moments that we were able to share with our guests onsite and online through our socials.
The year 2021 started with another national lockdown and whilst our gates were closed to the public and once again our zoo was empty, a downpour and flurry of snow cheered the spirits of everyone. There was a hum of excitement in the air with various animals exploring their snow-covered habitats. Aleena took to building a giant snowball whilst Moto spent his days gazing at the snowflakes falling around him.
The month of February saw the Zoo still closed due to government guidelines but this didn’t stop us from keeping everyone up to date with all that was happening. We brought you Snow Leopard snuggles of our infamous couple Jessie and Panja who have taken to cuddling up with each other every night. We also brought Zoo LIVES to our Facebook page for everyone to enjoy as well as to learn some new facts in a fun learning environment.
March saw the exciting birth and introduction of Bombeiro the Pygmy Marmoset. Bombeiro and sibling Mimo could be seen playfully jumping from branch to branch in their habitat and becoming mischievous together. This troop then extended in September to a beautiful troop of six.
This month saw the news of restrictions relaxing and with government guidelines allowing us to re-open we welcomed everyone back to Paradise on the 12th of April. It was lovely to welcome everyone back and all the animals and staff were excited to see everyone return. We also saw the celebration of Easter with our animals such as our Meerkats having an eggtastic time.
The month of May was an exciting moment for the Park as we releases the CGI pictures of Sun Bear Heights. Through this, we were able to show everyone our vision for this mixed-species habitat and what Sun Bear Heights will look like once it has been completed and open for everyone to enjoy. Our sister site The Big Cat Sanctuary also shared the incredible news of the birth of a baby Jaguar from mum Kiera. Making our resident Jaguars who are currently on holiday at The Big Cat Sanctuary Kumal and Kedera grandparents!
June saw the return of the football Euros and with the whole country coming alive in the excitement, our Pride of Lions especially Moto got into the football spirit and attempted to predict whether England would win at each stage. Moto definitely had a fan base follow his journey and predictions and was almost correct every time. Even though England didn’t win, our pride of lions had a lot of fun with this enrichment.
The month of July saw the Welcome of a new event to Paradise Wildlife Park: Summer Evenings in Paradise! Summer Evenings in Paradise saw the zoo open for the first time after hours for everyone to enjoy the zoo as the sunsets and see what our animals get up to after dark. With live music and entertainment throughout the night and tasty food and drinks, there was something for everyone at these events. We also welcomed some new additions to the park, our porcupines who settled into their new home comfortably and easily.
With the Summer in full swing, our animals were enjoying various ways to stay cool. Our tigers took a dip in their new pool in the Land of the Tigers whilst our camels received tasty frozen summer snacks. Across the Park, the sunshine took over and created a beautiful summer place for all to enjoy especially with the use of our splash zone Paradise Lagoon.
This month saw a vast amount of changes in our zoo. We welcomed twins Pequeno and Pouco the Pygmy Marmosets creating a beautiful troop of six. We also welcomed Cletus our West African Dwarf Crocodile to our Temple of Angkor. Even though this month saw some exciting news, there was also some sad news that was heartfelt across the Park, the passing of Billy the Ocelot. Billy joined the family of Paradise Wildlife Park in December of 2003 from Marwell Zoo and was loved by the entire team at the Park. He was at an incredible age of 19 when he passed and he had lived a fulfilled and loved life at the Park.
The spooktacular month of October arrived with the park dressed for the season and all the animals enjoying their pumpkin enrichment. Our big cats were treated to some giant pumpkins from the generosity of Cammas Hall Farm, which they loved! October also the exciting announcement of the new series of One Zoo Three which will be coming to your screens in 2022 on CBBC and iPlayer! Dinos After Dark also returned on selected dates for dino-tastic evenings with some prehistoric meet and greets.
This November saw the exciting release of the Jaguar Jungle CGIs to show everyone the vision of what we are working towards for Kumal and Kedera new habitat for when they return in 2022. Our lions and meerkats got to enjoy some giant leaf piles in some seasonal enrichment and Santa himself arrived at Paradise at his magical grotto to meet everyone.
The month of December saw Paradise transform into a winter wonderland with Santa waiting to meet everyone who came to the park. Santa met so many families and added lots of children to the good list this year! Animals across the park got into the festive spirit and definitely got to open some of their presents early! Tilly our Red Panda showed off her bedtime routine to everyone and was loved across the world for her bedtime antics.
Overall, even though the year 2021 has been once again a different and unique year it has always been a year filled with fun and adventure. We would like to thank all our members, supporters, visitors and online followers for your continuous support and a very Happy New Year for 2022. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on the 12th of February.