Knowsley Safari Park is set to reopen next month with some new animals on show and revamped facilities.
The Grevy’s Zebra is the most recent addition to the UK’s longest wild animal safari drive, a species of zebra that is the most endangered in the world.
With around 2,500 of the Grevy’s Zebra left in the world, Knowsley Safari Park has become home for Ceaba and Quigley, who are now enjoying life in their new surroundings.
Rachel Scott, head of marketing at Knowsley Safari Park, told JMU Journalism: “It’s wonderful to see them settling in so well on the Safari Drive. They’re in the same area as the white rhino and are enjoying all the space they have to access there.”
The zebras will take part in a breeding programme, set up by the Safari Park, to hopefully prevent its extinction.
Ms Scott said: “Conservation is a huge part of what we do at the Safari and we’re really pleased to be able to protect some of the world’s most endangered species. Bringing the Grevy’s Zebra to Knowsley will hopefully help protect this endangered species in the future.”
Alongside the introduction of the fluffy-eared zebra’s, the safari park has undergone a makeover while it has been shut due to Covid-19.
Facilities for animals and visitors have been upgraded as they attempt to make the safari an even more enjoyable experience for customers.
Ms Scott said: “We have an ongoing maintenance programme at the safari and recently we upgraded and landscaped the bush dog enclosure, creating additional viewing areas for guests.
“In addition to our existing al fresco grill and BBQ, we’ve added a takeaway pizzeria and Dessert Pod, as well as socially distanced picnic areas, which will mean guests can refuel safely outdoors from the first day we open, and throughout the rest of the year.”
The UK’s series of national lockdowns has meant the safari has had to close for a prolonged period of time, like many other experiences and businesses across the world. The safari park lost a lot of its income due to the lockdown and Ms Stott admits the past year has been tough.
She said: “It has been a difficult year, especially as our business generates most of its revenue via ticket sales. The Government’s furlough scheme has ensured that we can retain our dedicated staff.”
As a result of Covid-19 measures, the safari park has adapted for reopening to make sure it “is one of the safest days out in the country.”
Ms Scott said: “We have 550 acres of outdoor space and have social distancing and enhanced hygiene regimes in place. Visitors must book online for a timed slot too, which means we can manage capacity and have contactless entry.
“The team has been busy getting everything ready to welcome guests back to the Safari for a fun and safe day out.”