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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:


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.


Chester tiger triplets in 'purrr-fect' condition

Credit: Chester Zoo

The rare, three-month-old Sumatran tigers were examined, sexed, weighed and vaccinated by the zoo’s specialist vets and carnivore keepers.

The cubs, born in January to mum Kirana and dad Fabi, were found to be two males and one female.

Gabby Drake, vet at Chester Zoo, said the trio are in “tip-top shape.”

Mum Kirana and cub Credit: Chester Zoo

Sumatran tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world and our new triplets are very special cubs indeed. It’s really important for us to make sure they’re healthy and in good physical condition and we’re happy to report that all three of the cubs have been given a clean bill of health – they’re in tip-top shape.

– Gabby Drake, vet at Chester Zoo
The cubs were examined, sexed, weighed and vaccinated Credit: Chester Zoo

Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all tigers and have the narrowest stripes.

Critically endangered in the wild, there are believed to be just 300-400 Sumatran tigers left as they are often targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine. Much of their jungle habitat has also been destroyed.

CCTV records 'Incredibly special' first moments of tiger cubs

Hidden cameras have captured some of the first moments of three rare tiger cubs at Chester Zoo.

The tigers were born to eight-year-old Sumatran tigress Kirana on Jan 2 after a 105-day pregnancy.

We’re thrilled to kick off 2015 with these special arrivals.

"These tiny triplets who, in June, will move to a brand new home in our Islands zone, are now part of a safety-net against the population in the wild becoming extinct.

"That to me is incredibly humbling."

– Tim Rowlands, Curator of mammals, Chester Zoo

The sexes of the cubs will not be known for some time and zoo staff are continuing to keep a close eye on the family.

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