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Rare new animals at Chester Zoo opening

The Sundha Gharial crocodile Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is opening the UK's largest ever indoor zoo exhibit today.

The Monsoon Forest biggest indoor zoo exhibit in UK Credit: Chester Zoo

It's called Monsoon Forest and it's home to a number of animals and plant species that can be found in South East Asia.

Rhinoceros hornbill Credit: Chester Zoo
Sulawesi macaques Credit: Chester Zoo

It’s home to a number of animal and plant species that can be found in South East Asia - Sulawesi crested macaques, Sunda gharial crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, hornbill, various inverts and tentacled snakes.

Tortoise Credit: Chester Zoo

Lots of the species are highly threatened in the wild so it’s trying to put a spotlight on endangered species in that part of the world. Chester Zoo is the only place in the UK where you can see many of them. It’s part of the zoo’s £40m Islands project

Another new resident at Chester Zoo Credit: Chester Zoo

Report: Sneak preview at Chester Zoo's Islands

Now it's been described as the largest development in the country's zoo history, and the first phase has been revealed to the public today. The attraction, Islands, is costing 40 million pounds.

Its designers say they want to bring conservation to life by recreating habitats from South East Asia. Our reporter Tim Scott joined the crowds at Chester Zoo taking a first look:

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Chester Zoo scores £1.3 million victory over tax-man

Credit: PA Images

Chester Zoo's scored a £1.3 million victory over the taxman after a judge ruled it can reclaim VAT on the cost of looking after its 8000 animals.

The charity which runs Britain's largest zoo went to war with HM Revenue and Customs after it was hit with a tax demand three years ago.

The tax authorities said the zoo had claimed back too much in VAT over a 10-year period, but a judge has found the charity was in the right.

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