Telford's Exotic Zoo closes to the public at its Priorslee site
Telford’s Exotic Zoo has closed its doors to the public to prepare for a potential move to larger, new premises.
The zoo, which opened in 2017 in Priorslee, has become one of the area’s top tourist attractions.
While the Priorslee site will remain a base for educational experiences, community work and private parties, the public side of the businesses has ended for the time being.
Telford & Wrekin Council is in talks with zoo director Scott Adams about moving the zoo to a new four or five-acre site off the Dark Lane car park, near Wonderland in the town park – subject to planning permission.
Mr Adams says he is excited about the prospect.
The final public visitors to the Priorslee yesterday said the zoo was a family-friendly and educational experience.
Lauren, 10, and seven-year-old Erin Mcmillan from Muxton enjoyed feeding Queenie the goat.
Lauren said: “I love the meerkats and once I went on a meerkat experience day here which was great. Today I learnt a lot about the rabbits and the baby bunnies.”
Mum, Sarah, said: “The staff are incredibly friendly and information and the interaction the children can have with the animals is wonderful.”
Robert Bellingham, from Walsall, took his three year old grandson, Arlo, to the zoo and they were able to get up close and personal with a python. Mr Bellington said: “It is the first time we have been here and it is so good to be able to interact with all the animals and learn about them.”
Like the other visitors, 18-year-old Ellie Davies from Aqueduct was hoping that the move to the town centre would take place.
She said: “We were gutted when we heard that the zoo might have to close and then, the next day, discovered that it could be saved with a move to the town centre.
“It does visits for schools and I have been to a couple of parties here. It is great.”
Mr Adams said: “Exotic Zoo’s ethos was always to be a local attraction for the benefit of Telford and its community.
“This especially included young people and hard to reach and vulnerable members of the community who the zoo supports through its non-profit CIC arm that is busy providing community education as well as animal assisted therapy and interventions.”
Mr Adams is hoping that a new public site could be open in time for this year’s school summer holidays.
“The opportunity to move to a much bigger space with parking and access directly from the town park and Southwater and the chance to work together with the council to provide an affordable destination for the whole family is really exciting,” he said,
The current proposals for the zoo are subject to the respective licensing and planning permissions.