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Visitor numbers at Highland Wildlife Park on the rise, new figures reveal

Operators of Highland Wildlife Park delighted as visitors numbers continue to rise.
Operators of Highland Wildlife Park delighted as visitors numbers continue to rise.

Thousands of visitors are embracing life on the road as the easing of travel restrictions brings a welcome boost to trade at the Highland Wildlife Park.

Operators of the Kincraig based park have recorded a steady increase in footfall since reopening in March.

Latest figures released by park owners the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have revealed around 2,500 visitors have been visiting the park each week through May, compared to just 800 to 1,200 in their opening weeks in March and April.

The charity was forced to close the park for a second time in January as further restrictions left it unviable for them to continue trading.

Silver lining following a challenging year

Daska Mackintosh, head of operations and visitor services at the park spoke of her gratitude to visitors continuing to turn out to support the charity through trying challenging times.

She said: “Every visit to Highland Wildlife Park helps care for amazing animals in Scotland and around the world, so it is wonderful to see more and more people coming back as restrictions ease.

“We are so grateful for the support we have had from the public throughout this incredibly challenging year for our charity.”

Lockdown measures impact on trade

Gates to the popular Highland attraction were closed for a second time in January in light of the stringent measures imposed by the government.

Park operators made the difficult decision sighting that further reductions in footfall would have made it no longer viable for them to remain open.

The decision came just six months after the park welcomed visitors back to the park after being forced to close during the first national lockdown.

In August, business was booming as more than 18,000 animal lovers turned out catch a glimpse of their favourite animals.

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From August 1 to 25, a total of 18,618 people visited the park – an increase on the 16,700 recorded in the same period last year.

Mrs Mackintosh added: “Highland Wildlife Park is loved by people throughout the UK and across the globe, and we hope to be able to connect even more visitors to nature in the coming months and years by creating a truly special, world class experience here in the spectacular Cairngorms National Park.

Once in a lifetime offer

Earlier this month, a crowdfunding appeal was launched by Park operators to help garner funds towards the construction of a new £5.5million visitor and education centre on the grounds.

A target of £50,000 has been set to help plans for Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre to fruition.

More than £20,600 has so far been raised towards the venture.

Individuals can enter into a prize draw with one lucky winner set to win the keys and a once in a lifetime experience to feed the animals, including polar bears, tigers and snow leopards.

Officials believe the centre will “play a pivotal role in inspiring more people to protect nature and wildlife.”

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