Mole Hall Wildlife Park to re-open

PUBLISHED: 10:39 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:51 31 May 2010

MOLE HALL Wildlife Park is set to re-open its doors following an extensive refurbishment project – after almost a year in the wilderness. When the gates to the Widdington attraction were locked for the final time in September 2008 – due to owner Douglas J

MOLE HALL Wildlife Park is set to re-open its doors following an extensive refurbishment project - after almost a year in the wilderness.

When the gates to the Widdington attraction were locked for the final time in September 2008 - due to owner Douglas Johnston suffering from terminal cancer - it was thought that the park would never again be open to the public.

But those fears have proved unfounded.

Park administrator, Katrina Allhusen, said: "It was never the plan to be closed forever, we were very upset at the time and things got taken out of proportion.

"We were always confident that we could re-open and now we are delighted that we can once again invite the public in to enjoy themselves."

Mrs Allhusen added: "Our new focus will be on conservation of the natural species in the park and on educating children. We believe it is important that visitors not only enjoy themselves but learn something in the process."

Some animals have remained inside the park during the last 10 months and many others were sent to various specialist sanctuaries, most of which now will return to the attraction.

Officially the park will re-open at the start of August but Ms Allhusen has said that visitors may have to be a bit patient in the first few weeks as work continues.

"We will not have all the animals back at the beginning because we need to complete the fencing, although people can still come in for a picnic," she said.

"The café will not be available because we are still re-fitting it. But we will now be offering camping if people want to pre-book a pitch."

It's unlikely that the park's star attractions will be returning. 40-year-old chimps Joey and Tubman were moved to a sanctuary in Wales following the temporary closure, and one almost died in transit.

"It was dangerous moving Joey and Tubman, because of their age. But we had no choice, we nearly lost one and we he had to resuscitate him in the trailer" said Ms Allhusen.

To book a camping spot or to find out more details, call the park on 01799 540400.


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