New all-weather viewing stand opens at Fota
A new all-weather viewing stand has been opened at Fota Wildlife Park overlooking the grazing area used by Rothschild’s giraffe, Scimitarhorned oryx, ostrich and Grant’s zebra.
The new viewing area was built into a section of the paddock where some of Fota’s best known and endangered species are based.
The viewing pod contains an educational video and panels featuring details of the various species living in the African Savannah paddock, including details of the giraffe herd’s individuals.
The exterior slopes of the pod have been planted with wildflowers, one of the two dedicated wildflower plots at Fota Wildlife Park and is part of the campaign to address pollinator decline in conjunction with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020.
Director of Fota Wildlife Park Sean McKeown said the park was delighted to provide the educational observation area, at the end of the summer season, as it offered a pivotal viewing point in all types of weather.
“Visitors are welcome to linger here and can observe and learn more about the Rothschild’s giraffes and the other species in the paddock in total comfort.”
Construction of the viewing area started in April this year and the overhead walkway, which offers panoramic views of the giraffe and bison habitats, opened in July.
Mr McKeown said the giraffe viewing pod was part of the wildlife park’s continued developments and improvements including plans for a bird hide and observation deck over Cork Harbour and a new primate house and viewing area which is in the final stages of completion.
Full details of the planned new primate house will be outlined later this month when a new primate species is introduced to Fota Wildlife Park.
Zoological Society of Ireland president Michael Daly, along with fellow board members of Fota Wildlife Park Neil O’Carroll and Sean McKeown at the official opening of the new viewing area.