The UK’s largest brown bear exhibit is set to open soon in Bristol, offering an unrivaled glimpse at these majestic animals.
Bear Wood, a new multi-million pound woodland exhibit at Wild Place Project, will also be home to wolves, lynx and wolverine.
The attraction, due to open on July 25, will be the only place in the UK where bears and wolves will coexist in ancient woodland together, as they would have done thousands of years ago.
Visitors will be taken on a journey through the trees on a raised wooden walkway, offering a unique view of the animals.
A bear viewing den, with 180-degree, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, will give visitors the sensation of standing inside the bears’ woodland home.
Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Wild Place Project located off junction 17 of the M5, said: “Not only is this the most significant new addition to Wild Place Project that we have created to date, but it is also a first for Britain in terms of having bears and wolves living together as they once did.
“We are confident that this will be the best and most immersive bear exhibit in the country and we are delighted to be counting down to the opening day later this month, after so much hard work and preparation.”
Morris added: “Bear Wood tells the story of the UK’s ancient woodland and the charismatic species that once inhabited it, now brought back in one spectacular immersive experience.
“We hope Bear Wood will also inspire visitors about the woodland and wildlife we have left, encouraging them to protect what remains.”
A team of rangers will help visitors get the most from their visit to Bear Wood, pointing out the native species at home in the woodland throughout the year.
Den cameras and monitors will also offer secret insights into the wildlife living in the exhibit.
Woodlands, similar to those at Wild Place Project, covered Britain thousands of years ago but have been steadily cut down for building, housing, fuel, growing crops and making paper.
Today ancient woods – described as having existed continuously since 1600 or before – are home to many threatened species and cover only two per cent of the UK.
To find out more about Wild Place Project and Bear Wood, visit www.wildplace.org.uk/bearwood.
Main photo by Barbara Evripidou / FirstAvenuePhotography.com
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