In spring 2021, our maintenance team started to carry out renovation work at the Wilds of Asia building. Due to the nature of the work, the area was closed off to visitors to allow the team to deconstruct some of the old enclosures and make room for the exciting new development work to take place.

We have many species of animals that occupy this exhibit, from our Emerald tree monitor to our Lion-tailed macaques but it was our Burmese python’s habitat that saw the biggest change and has been completely transformed to provide our pythons with an improved living space. The land area has now been increased to give our large reptiles more room to rest, or the space to engage in other natural behaviours. The pool has also increased considerably in size to encourage swimming, along with a reconstructed waterfall that leads into a shallow stream to create a comfortable resting area.

As well as an increase in territorial space, special ultraviolet lights combined with a natural light system have been installed to encourage plant growth. Pool, land, and ambient air temperatures are individually maintained by our Animal Care Team in order to create and maximise the preferred temperature most suited for this species of python.

Not all improvements can be seen by the eye as many changes as many of our smaller species have had various systems upgraded and installed to help maximise their natural habitat. The green tree monitor’s heating system has been re-piped to increase the flow of temperature, whilst the fresh-water tropical aquarium, home to a number of marine life, has also been reconfigured to improve the flow of the filtration system and its effectiveness at making sure the water remains at high quality conditions for the fish.

Since completion of the necessary work, our Animal Care Team have slowly reintroduced the species back into their new home. Each animal was monitored carefully to ensure that the transition went smoothly.

Whilst our animals will benefit from the many changes we have now put in place, we have also used this chance to enhance the visitor’s experience within this area, including a new entrance filled with natural planting, new animal profiles to provide you with the latest information about each species and an enhanced underwater viewing of our Burmese python, allowing guests to see these species like never before at Colchester Zoo.

Our Wilds of Asia building is now open, and we hope you enjoy the many improvements we’ve made to the area as well as gaining a closer look at the many rare and beautiful species we have housed in this exhibit.

You can learn more about all the species at Wilds of Asia here, including many species that occupy our outdoor habitats such as red pandas, wreathed hornbills and our giant anteaters.

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