New lion house planned for attraction

A WILDLIFE park in north Suffolk will be hoping to invite visitors into a new lion's den if Waveney District Council grants planning permission.Suffolk Wildlife Park in Kessingland is planning to build a £250,000 new, up-to-date house for its two elderly lions, Reggie and Rulah, next to their present enclosure.

A WILDLIFE park in north Suffolk will be hoping to invite visitors into a new lion's den if Waveney District Council grants planning permission.

Suffolk Wildlife Park in Kessingland is planning to build a £250,000 new, up-to-date house for its two elderly lions, Reggie and Rulah, next to their present enclosure.

It promises to be bigger, with a large indoor area for the lions on rainy days, and a better viewing platform above the lions for disabled visitors.

Martin Goymour, zoo director of the park and of Banham Zoo, said: "This project shows our commitment to Suffolk Wildlife Park. For nearly 12 years we've invested about £12 million into the park, developing its African theme.

"Our new plans are built first with the lions' health in mind, then the safety of our zoo keepers who have to look after them, and finally for visitors who will see them."

If planning permission is granted the new home will be built next to the lions' 12-year-old enclosure.

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The park is currently building new stables and a grazing area called Savannah Paddocks for its zebra, antelope, rhinos, giraffe and ostrich to use as if they were back home in Africa and Mr Goymour hopes this will open in the autumn against the backdrop of the Suffolk marshes to create a real "wow" factor.

Mr Goymour hopes to make the park one of the best tourist attractions in Suffolk and has a five-year development plan for the zoo.

He said this year is promising to be the best in terms of ticket sales as the park has seen many previous visitors returning and experienced an increase in season ticket sales and support by local people, which he believed showed they were doing something right.

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