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Record breaker for Chester Zoo as it tops the tourist league again

Top attraction: the elephant enclosure at the zoo Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo's been named as the UK's most visited tourist attraction outside London.

It caps off a record breaking year for the zoo, which welcomed 1.9 million visitors - more than any other year in its 85-year history.

"Almost 1.9 million people visited us last year and every one of them played a key part in helping us protect endangered animals around the globe. We can't thank them enough.

"Visitors now are looking for more than just a day out. When people come to the zoo, not only do they have a great time but they are also making a difference and discovering how all of us, as individuals, can act for wildlife. We think this is key to our success."

– Jamie Christon, the zoo's chief operating officer

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Endangered baby elephant's birth captured on cctv

Credit: Chester Zoo

A rare Asian elephant has been born at Chester Zoo, with the birth captured on CCTV.

The female calf arrived to 12-year-old mum Sundara after a 22-month gestation and was on her feet within minutes.

Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo, described the birth as "perfect" and a "great family occasion."

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list, threatened by habitat loss, poaching, disease and direct conflict with humans. The new calf is a huge boost to the endangered species breeding programme.

This was Sundara's second pregnancy and the birth was pretty much perfect.

She delivered her calf onto soft sand with all the family gathered around. Sundara then gave her a series of little kicks to gently stimulate and encourage her to her feet. Minutes later, the new arrival was up and standing and making her first attempts to suckle.

– Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo

Chester zoo welcomes new arrival: tiny deer 'the size of a Christmas bauble'

Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is celebrating a UK first, with the arrival of a tiny deer with a body about the size of a Christmas bauble.

The female Philippine mouse deer has been born to parents Rita and Ramos.

Our newborn deer is incredibly small - similar in size to a Christmas bauble on tiny little legs, weighing just 430 grams.

But, while this new arrival may be small in stature, it's big in terms of importance.

It's the very first time the animal has been bred in the UK and to break new ground like this with a mammal species is really quite rare.

The Philippine mouse deer is an endangered species.

It's highly threatened by massive deforestation in South East Asia and so it's great news that our newcomer will add valuable new bloodlines to the conservation breeding programme in zoos. It's vitally important that we work to ensure these wonderful animals do not disappear for good.

– Tim Rowlands, Chester Zoo
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