Yorkshire Wildlife Park on course for record breaking year

Amur Tiger cubs at the park. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Cubs MC 6
Amur Tiger cubs at the park. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Cubs MC 6

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has recorded increased visitor numbers - for the sixth year in a row.

Visitor numbers are already 29 per cent higher than last year after a busy summer - making the Doncaster-based park the UK’s fastest growing wildlife attraction.

The surge in visitors comes after the birth of rare tiger and leopard cubs at the park, meanwhile the ‘Safari Nights’ of family fun and games every Saturday evening has also proven popular throughout the school holidays.

John Minion, chief executive officer of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, said: “We have already welcomed over 560,261 guests this season compared to 434,000 in 2014.

“We are on track to reach over 682,000 visitors by the end of the financial year (November 2015) which is a remarkable achievement for a business which is only six-years-old.

“It is the support of these visitors that has enabled the investment for the Park to grow over recent years,”

He added: “The park’s reputation keeps growing further afield because there is an increasing awareness and interest in wildlife and how we can all work to protect it.

“We have a unique way here at the park of bringing our guests closer to some amazing wildlife. There is fun too – always something to do for all the family…even when it’s raining.”

The park opened in 2009 and had 66,000 visitors in its first year. It broke through the landmark 500,000 annual visitors for the first time last year and had 556,000 visitors in the 2014 season.

The arrival of a trio of Amur Tiger cubs in March was a major boost – the video of their birth drew a global audience of more than five million people.

More breeding success was to follow recently with three Amur Leopard cubs who were born in June. Both species are critically endangered and the cubs will play a vital role in the European breeding programmes.

Polar bears Victor, a 16-year-old, and two-year-old Pixel, who arrived at Easter, are also huge favourites with visitors.

Earlier this year, the park won the Business of the Year award at the Sheffield City Region Awards.

It was also shortlisted as a finalist in the Large Attraction of the Year category at the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards.