REINA AND DIAMANTE ARE ROYAL BANK HOLIDAY DEBUTANTES

Two of Blackpool Zoo’s latest arrivals have been given Spanish names with a regal ring in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Reina, which is Spanish for Queen and Diamante, which means Diamond, are female Iberian Wolves who have just arrived from Woburn, where they were born last year. They are part of a pack of five, which also includes parents Diago and Dora and sister Carmen.

They have taken up ‘royal’ residence in the zoo’s brand new £500,000 ‘Wolf Ridge’ enclosure, which was completed this month.

It is the first time that Blackpool Zoo has housed any wolf species and keepers have been visiting other zoos across the country to assist with planning the enclosure and preparations for the arrival of the pack.

The wolves will be on show for the first time over the Jubilee weekend and visitors can see them from a specially elevated walkway that has been built to overlook the spacious paddock and huge wolf den.

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We are delighted to be introducing wolves to our ever expanding list of residents and when we found out the two youngest cubs were yet to be named we wanted to ensure they had a ‘royal ring’ to them!

“As Iberian Wolves hail from the forest and plains of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain we wanted to give them Spanish names but with a nod to the momentous weekend when they will make their first appearance in the new Wolf Ridge enclosure.

“There has been a lot of excitement here amongst staff and visitors alike since we announced they would be arriving and we can’t wait to hear what the public think.”

Seeing the new arrivals is just one of the many things to do at Blackpool Zoo this half term. From Saturday 2nd until Sunday 10th June there will be a whole host of really wild activities.

As part of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums ‘Love Your Zoo’ week there will be a fun fact finding trail around the zoo.

There will also be the chance to hand feed giraffes and lorikeets, with tickets on sale in the Amazonia shop near the elephant house.

Interactive, hands on sessions will also take place throughout the day in the Children’s Farm and Creepy Crawly Corner and information on times and activities will be handed out on admission throughout the week.

Talks, displays and feed times have also been increased during the holidays and there will be badge making, colouring competitions and a Conservation area with artefacts for children to handle and explore. The zoo will also be collecting voluntary contributions for the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ South East Asia Campaign.

Blackpool Zoo is open every day of the year. Current opening hours are 10.00am until 5.45pm and last admission is 5.00pm. Visitors can save on admission prices by booking online at www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk.

-Ends

Notes to editors:

Pictures show: Reina and Diamante

More information about Blackpool Zoo:

Blackpool Zoo’s visitor numbers continued to hit record highs in 2011, with the year being hailed as the busiest in the zoo’s 39 year history.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

For further information please contact:

Paula Holden, Julie Hackett or Denise Dawson at ICG on 01772 679383 or email paula@icgonline.co.ukJulie@icgonline.co.ukor denise@icgonline.co.uk

Out of office hours contact: Paula Holden on 07772268378            

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