Fota Wildlife Park welcomed the 8 finalists of its "Wild Life" competition with Red FM this morning at 10am, each of them hoping to last the full week and walk away with €10,000 and a two week trip to Zambia.
The Wild Life competition was a concept created by the head of marketing at the park Stephen Ryan "I have seen many of these reality tv shows and I thought why not do something at the park as we have roaming animals set on 70 acres". This is the first competition of its kind in Ireland and also a first for the zoological world in Europe "when doing research on this I found that something similar had taken place in a zoo in both China and Australia but not in Europe which makes the next week very exciting and already we have had enquiries from Houston Zoo as to what is going to happen" added Stephen.
The contestants themselves are made up of four men and four women for all corners for Cork stretching from Glengarriff to Youghal and also includes a Dubliner who resides in Mallow. Each of them attended one of the auditions over the last few weeks held throughout Cork City and county by Red Fm with some them dressing up as wildlife wardens and one bringing their own snake.
The week is exciting with daily tasks at 1pm and the dreaded evictions at 5.15pm every day covered live on redfm.ie. At night they will be confined to a marquee with no books, ipods, phones or food just the opportunity for a toilet break.
The overall winner of the competition will walk away with a trip for two to Zambia thanks to the new responsible tourism aganecy Travel4Change.ie plus €10,000 in cash. The trip to Zambia will give one lucky person the opportunity to see wild animals like the giraffe in Fota in their Natural habitat aswell as three days building an orphanage.
The event is set to create great interest with a number of the contestants having set up their own fan pages on Facebook and have posters up and around the city and county. The only way they will stay in the park is if people vote for them, the person with the lowest number of votes at 5pm each day will be sent home.
"This is going to be a great week at the park and we have plenty of suprises in store for the contestants but also some great entertainment at the park for the public to enjoy" added Stephen Ryan at the arrival of the contestants in the park.
Check out their reaction to their new living quarters on our you tube channel