About Us - Fota Wildlife Park

About Us

About Us

Fota at 40, four decades of conservation in action.

Fota Wildlife Park opened to the public in June 1983 and recently celebrated four decades of Conservation in Action by completing the sustainably built, Education, Conservation and Research Centre, co-funded by the Government via the OPW.

Our Story

Fota Wildlife Park, part of the Zoological Society of Ireland, is located on 100 acres at Fota Island 10km east of Cork City and has an annual attendance of approximately 460,000 visitors. It is currently the second largest visitor attraction in Ireland outside of Leinster.

Fota Wildlife Park’s vision is to inspire people to understand and conserve the biodiversity of our natural world. The Park’s core values of conservation, education, and research have ensured that we are uniquely placed to foster greater public understanding of the threats to plant and animal habitats and decreasing global biodiversity. Fota Wildlife Park has made considerable investment in the past 10 years upgrading its infrastructure including an indoor Giraffe viewing area, the Madagascan Village and the Asian Sanctuary which opened in 2015 and features Asian lions, Sumatran tigers, and Indian Rhino.

Fota is a non-profit organisation, limited by guarantee, and is also a registered charity. The Park finances its day-to-day operational costs primarily through gate receipts, annual pass sales, and gift shop revenues. Fota Wildlife Park reinvests any surplus generated yearly into capital projects and infrastructural improvements – such as flood defences and building state-of-the-art habitats for its animals.

Fota Wildlife Park also financially supports and donates vital resources to conservation projects in Ireland and abroad, such as the Irish Ladybird Research Project, the Natterjack Toad Head Starter programme, the European Life-funded Corncrake project, the Madagascan Pochard, and in Vietnam, the Tonkin Snub-nosed monkey, and the Western black crested gibbon conservation – to name a few.

Fota Wildlife Park’s Board of Governors:

Ann Keenan – Board Member
Carmel O’Connor – Board Member
Jennifer Cashman – Board Member
Jim Woulfe – Chair
Paul O’Connell – Board Member
Richard Healy – Board Member
Sarah Culloty – Board Member
Susie Horgan – Board Member
Tom Dunphy – Board Member

Related Pages


Originally the private estate of the Smith-Barry family, Fota Island has proven to be an ideal location for the Wildlife Park.


Fota Wildlife Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland and has been awarded ‘Best Family Day Out’ for both Munster and Cork on several occasions.


Find details on any open recruitment here.


The staff at Fota Wildlife Park love to share what they have learned and here are some of the most common questions...