Zoo re-opens with new boss at the helm

Torbay Weekly

Paignton Zoo's new boss has welcomed visitors back.

CEO Dennis Flynn, who has taken over from the retired Simon Tonge, said: "“Enabling our guests to see animals and plants close up is a really important part of our conservation work so its great to see everyone, but especially children, back at our zoos in Paignton and Newquay.”

The zoo has appealed for the public download the NHS Test and Trace app before they visit and use the scanning points at the zoo entrance.#

A spokesman said: "This is required for all guests over the age of 16. We have a number of safety measures in position and we ask that visitors please follow the guidance that our team has put in place so the zoo is a safe day out for everyone."

The zoo has been closed since January 5.

It opened initially to annual pass holders on the first two days, but then re-opened fully to everyone.

The numbers of guests will be limited each day, and all guests will be required to book an entry time slot on-line through the website – www.paigntonzoo.org.uk.

All of the indoor animal houses and indoor play areas have remained closed and other Covid safety measures are in place.

The Ranch, home to the pygmy goats has had a refresh, with JD the pot-bellied pig moving shortly down to this area. The Ouessant sheep have also moved to a new home in the larger paddock next to the rhinos, and after spending the winter in the warmth of their house, the Aldabra giant tortoises are now able to spend time outside.

Lots of maintenance work has taken place with the main boardwalk in Monkey Heights and at the wobbly bridge in Lemur Wood.

When the zoo is able to re-open their indoor areas, guests will be able to enjoy the refurbished tropical and desert houses, now named Tropical Trail and Arid Lands. Crocodile Swamp has had a refresh too, with all of the pools being completely drained, cleaned and refilled. There will also be some new species in the Amphibian Ark exhibit.