Our Story

Fota Wildlife Park is a joint project between the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College Cork (UCC), an idea originally conceived in the 1970s by former Director of Dublin Zoo, Dr. Terry Murphy.

The Park was officially opened in 1983 by the then President of Ireland, the late Dr. Patrick Hillery, and has gone from strength to strength since - welcoming record visitor numbers in the years after a significant redevelopment of facilities in 2010 and 2011.  

It has been listed as one of Ireland’s Top Ten visitor attractions and is the most popular tourist destination in Cork.


Fota is a non-profit organisation, limited by guarantee, and is also a registered charity. It is completely self-financing, relying entirely on gate receipts and membership fees for its income, and any financial surpluses generated are reinvested in order improve infrastructure and promote the company’s core objectives of conservation, education and research.

 

To learn more about the history of the Park and Fota Island, why not start with From the Beginning...