Fota Wildlife Park is set to become the first location in the world to host prehistoric animals in a ground breaking scientific project spanning 27 acres that is set to put Cork on the map worldwide.
The park is about to commence work on a new area called Prehistoric Park which will host species from the Dinosaur Age thanks to ground breaking scientific research. The ambitious plans are set to capture the attention of the world as the park will be the first to achieve what many believed was the impossible.
Speaking about the plans park director Sean McKeown believes it will mark a huge milestone in scientific research, "over the last number of years Fota Wildlife Park has been funding a number of post graduate Bio Medical & Zoological students from UCC to look at the possibility of using DNA from fossils in embryo's to bring animals back to life and today we are delighted to announce that the research is working with the successful creation of an Ornithomimus." The Ornithomimus is a dinosaur which is very similar to an Ostrich and it is through an Ostrich egg that they have been able to grow this embryo.
One of the students Ronan O'Neill a PHD student in Bio Medicine initially visited Melbourne University where previous research led to the part creation of the extinct Tazmanian Tiger through the embryo of a mouse. Following the visit to Australia Mr O'Neill gathered a number of top post graduate students from a variety of scientific fields to gather DNA from fossils to make it happen.
This breakthrough with the Ornithomimus is set to be the first of many with work underway on creating other prehistoric creatures such as Troodon and the infamous Wooly Mammoth. In the meantime the park is going to introduce the ornithomimus with Crocodiles, Alligators and Tortoise all species which many believe could have lived during that age.
This project has been in the pipeline for a number of years following a visit by a wealthy anonymous American with a passion for Palaeontology to Fota Island. During his visit he noticed that many of the plants in the gardens were dating back to prehistoric times and that the island would make a great location for his lifelong dream and has invested millions into making it happen.
Fota Wildlife Park believes that this park could bring an extra one million visitors to the park in 2012 when it opens. Speaking about the potential Stephen Ryan head of Marketing said "words can't describe what this will mean to Ireland in terms of tourism, we will be put Cork on the world map with a park that everyone will want to see and as a result we are going to extend opening hours when the new phase opens."
Full details of the plan will be announced at a press conference in the parks new education complex on Monday morning at 11am.
*Please note that this was an April Fools Joke in association with Corks Red FM*