New big cat habitat set to open at Blackpool Zoo

Big cats get ready for new home Credit: Blackpool Zoo

Blackpool Zoo will open the doors to a purpose-built new big cat facility on Friday.

Big Cat Habitat, which cost £1.5million, combines increased indoor space, extended external paddocks and improved keeper facilities, which will enable the best possible care for the animals.

Each side of the house has a large indoor area including heated mock rocks and extended viewing windows.

Lion at Blackpool Zoo Credit: Blackpool Zoo

Khari, the African lion, who was born at Blackpool Zoo in 2015, will head up a new pride with three females, who arrived from West Midland Safari Park.

Emma and Narla, who are 18 and Hira, who will be four in September, all lived in a large, diverse pride and have close bonds with each other.

They will form a breeding group as part of the European Endangered Species Programmes (EEP), with the females all helping each other to raise any cubs.

Next to the lion enclosure the tiger area has also been extended with bigger indoor and outdoor spaces, which have been designed in a similar manner.

Alyona the Amur tiger has been residing at Woodside Wildlife Park in Lincolnshire.

A male tiger will be joining her to form a non-breeding companion pair later in the year.