Marwell’s doors were first opened to the public on 22 May 1972 by John Knowles OBE. Now, 45 years on, we marked the occasion both on social media and in the park. Within the grounds, staff were treated to a slice of a special Victoria sponge cake – made by The Oven Door Bakery in Fair Oak.
Elsewhere, on Facebook, we charted the plotted history of Marwell Wildlife with events such as the filming of the 1993 movie Fierce Creatures – starring the likes of John Cleese and Ronnie Corbert – and many royal visits.
This included the multiple trips to Marwell from HRH the Princess Royal, who opened exhibits from Penguin World to ‘Into Africa’.
Since we opened our doors, the zoo has seen thousands of animals come and go including rare species that have helped raise awareness for conservation work all over the world.
This included the first African wild ass to be born at a British zoo back in 1996. The foal was the first in a long line of successful births for the critically endangered species at Marwell.
In recent years the park has had many successful big cat births including a remarkable double celebration last year. Two critically endangered Amur leopard cubs were born to Kaia and Akin – named Anik and Kazimir – which was coupled with the birth of endangered Amur tiger triplets.
With the planned opening of our new, immersive Lemur Loop in 2017, as well as an impressive new Tropical House in 2018, the park is set to go from strength to strength as we race towards our landmark 50th anniversary.