Press Blog

New Tiger Area at Fota Wildlife Park Opens

Over 14,000 people visited Fota Wildlife Park during the June Bank Holiday weekend as the east Cork attraction opened its new Tiger Forest area, the first part of its 27 acre Asian Sanctuary.

The crowds who flocked from all over Ireland and also included some international visitors were delighted to see a Sumatran Tiger for the first time in Cork. “Saturday was the busiest day here at the park in over 7 years with 5,500 people coming for the opening” added Stephen Ryan Head of Marketing at Fota Wildlife Park.

The Tiger Forest at Fota Wildlife Park is the first part of its new Asian Sanctuary development which is situated on additional 27 acres at the Cork attraction. It will be home to 2 year old male Denar from Warsaw Zoo in Poland and 2 year old female Dourga from Le Parc des Félins in Nesles, France. 

The Tiger forest is one of the biggest areas in the new Asian Sanctuary, the concept of which is to be kept in line with the existing unique open nature of the wildlife park but will have an authentic Asian ambiance. Fota Wildlife Park hope to complete work on phase one of the Asian Sanctuary this summer with the introduction of visayan spotted deer as well as the relocation of many of its Asian species including the red panda and lion tailed macaques.

 

The park however hopes the public support this weekend will continue throughout the summer enabling them to start work on phase two and three which will both cost in the region of €2m. “Getting the visitors like we have this weekend will be of huge benefit to our development but  people can also support us through buying membership, sponsoring an animal or donating money towards the sanctuary through our new donation page on our website” added Stephen Ryan.

Famous worldwide for its Cheetah breeding, this is the first time Tigers will are at Fota Wildlife Park which is celebrating its 31st birthday next month. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest and darkest tiger subspecies and tends to be more bearded and maned than the other subspecies.

The Sumatran Tiger is critically endangered with an estimated population of only 400 – 500 left living in the wild. It is the only remaining island living tiger in Indonesia and inhabits a landscape that ranges from Sub Mountain and Mountain Forest to Lowland Forest and Peat Forest.

South East Asia has more endangered species than anywhere else in the world and it is hoped that the introduction of Dourga and Denar this weekend is the start of something at Fota Wildlife Park that will in the long term help many of these species survive and not go extinct like the Bali tiger did in the 1940s. To help with this Fota Wildlife Park are sponsoring 21st Century Tiger poaching prevention programme in Sumatra as part of their ongoing contribution to wild tiger conservation.