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Chester Zoo is built on an area of over 100 acres. The Zoo, founded in the early 1930s by George Mottershead, is said to be the best zoo in Britain and under Europes top 30. Because the zoo receives no government funding it is based on the foundation. The zoo is split into three separate directorates under the management of the Director General, Gordon McGregor Reid:
* Conservation and Education
* Corporate Services
* Commercial Services
In 2006 Chester Zoo had more than 1,680,000 visitors, for that it was the most visited zoo in Britain. Chester Zoo has also won the “Zoo of the Year” award more than once what supports its importance under the Britain Zoos.
Chester Zoo takes care for 7602 (2006) animals representing 424 (2006) different species. Nearly half of them are endangered.
The Zoo is open all year from 10.00am except Christmas Day & Boxing Day.
From Sunday 28th October to 31st December (excluding Christmas Day & Boxing Day) the last admission is at 3:00 pm.
It is very interesting issue education is a key theme for Chester Zoo. Chester Zoo supports the learning of animals for student by reading, touching and smelling. They want to encourage you to take care for the environment which has never been as important like today.
Chester Zoo has great plans for the future. Chester Zoo is working on a master plan for development and expansion called ‘SuperZoo’. It will become a world-class visitor attraction. The SuperZoo will be constructed in four phases. It will cost over ï¿½300 million of capital investment. In the first phase it will be in the region of ï¿½100 million, and the size of Chester Zoo is going to be tripled. The estimated completion date is 2020 and will divide the zoo into four zones representing African savannah, grassland, forest and island and wetland habitats. In the next 18 months, Chester Zoo is going to be built a new aquarium building called Origins. It is scheduled to open late 2008.
Chester Zoo has a wide variety of animals and a lot of uncommon animals which number can just protected when they live with human supervision.
There are children’s play areas, shops, kiosks and several picnic lawns sited around the zoo.
One of the strengths is the very good location the zoo has. It is very easy to reach by road, by bus or by the rail. One of the most used motor ways are going near to Chester Zoo. You can easily reach the zoo by following the brown Chester Zoo signs from M56, Junction 14 or Junction 12 on the M53. The zoo is also clearly signed on the A41 Chester road.
Another opportunity is the bus or the train. Monday to Saturday the visitors can use the bus from Chester Railway Station and Chester Bus Exchange or from Ellesmere Port and Cheshire Oaks, Liverpool and Birkenhead every 20 minutes. Sundays every hour.
All of the Chester zoo shops sell a wide range of merchandise to suit all price ranges, tastes and age groups. They offer an enormous range of animal-themed gift ideas, as well as books, videos and music. For your convenience films, batteries and other essentials are also available in the zoos retail outlets.
The Ark Shop
The largest shop is the “Ark Shop”. It is located at the main entrance, sells a vast range of gifts and souvenirs. Open all year round, the Ark Shop also sells useful items to help make your visit more enjoyable, such as waterproof ponchos and umbrellas, should the weather take an unexpected turn for the worst.
The Fountain Shop
Conveniently located in the centre of the Zoo, the Fountain Shop sells a wide range of gifts and is open all year round. The professional Face painting service, which is highly popular with the younger children, is available here during school holidays and weekends.
Open during peak periods only, the Arara Shop sells a smaller range of popular goods and is located near to the Spirit of the Jaguar enclosure.
Guided tours for groups
There’s a new 90 minute guided tour exclusive to groups showing the party the zoo attractions, an insight into ‘behind the scenes’ and the zoo’s vibrant history. A maximum of 20 people can take part in each tour, at a cost of ï¿½35.00 in addition to the admission charge.
The zoo is also able to supply groups with plastic wristbands – ideal for writing contact mobile telephone numbers on in case of an emergency. It can supply these to the visitor in advance at a charge of five pence per wristband.
Events for Groups
On summer evenings the zoo offers a safari adventure complete with barbeque or dinner, evening picnics and exclusive tours through its gardens. For groups of 50 or more the event team can make an exclusive evening just for the visitor.
Adopt an animal
The zoo has a scheme whereby people can adopt an animal of their choice. They can also become zoo members. Every three months members and adopters receive the zoo magazine, called Z, which provides updates and information about what is happening at the zoo. Anyone can join the scheme for as little as ï¿½50 per year. You can pick an animal from the list. Everything the adopter gives goes to a special account for animal foodstuffs. The adoption runs for a full 12 months from whenever you can start, and they send a renewal reminder.
The high price is a weakness of the Zoo. It costs ï¿½13.59 from march to October. In other European zoos the admission fee is the half (for example Berlin) and you get a much more breadth variety of animals there. Because most of the areas in the zoo are not be roofed, that’s a big problem for the zoo that the visitors won’t come on rainy days and spend no money on the zoo.
A lot people are watching animal documentations on TV. You also can go to the cinema and watch animal film.
Our guide told us that when Greenpeace had a demonstration against the bad care for animals in Britain Zoos they didnï¿½t come to Chester Zoo because they have the highest standards of welfare and the best care for all animals.
All in all Chester Zoo is a very good Zoo, but there are Zoos in Europe which can offer you a wider variety of animals and a lower admission fee. On the other hand Chester Zoo is a foundation which has to be in a plus at the end of a year most of the other Zoos are subsidized by the government. Chester Zoo also is very interested in education and wants to give the visitor a lot of knowledge to save the environment. Therefore Chester Zoo is value for money.