2023 Zoo News | Emerald Park Theme Park and Zoo
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Southern ground hornbill close up at Emerald Park

Looking back on 2023

11th January, 2024

2023 recap

2023 was a very exciting year for our zoo! We undertook a rebrand of our whole park, which brought a fresh look into the zoo through updated colourful, informative signs. 2023 also seen important breeding programme births, introduced some new arrivals to the park, and unfortunately, said goodbye to some of our guests’ favourite animals.

We asked our zoo team to share their thoughts and memories from the year.

Stand out moments of the year include…

  • The breeding success of our Goeldi’s monkeys. This has now been the second consecutive year the pair in our zoo has bred. Goeldi’s monkeys are classed as ‘Vulnerable’ and therefore their breeding success is of the utmost importance.

A baby Goeldi's monkey and his mother at Emerald Park

📸 Siobhan

  • Another extremely important birth was an Edwards pheasant. These birds are classed as ‘Critically Endangered’. The breeding of these species within zoological collections allows scientists to study their breeding behaviour as they’re an elusive species in the wild and their low numbers makes study more difficult.
  • The successful introduction of three new squirrel monkeys to our group of five males, an EEP breeding programme introduction of a male and female binturong, and introducing a female silvery marmoset to a new male.

📸 Monica

  • The opening of our Education Centre for an immersive bio fact experience throughout the summer months. This allowed our guests to engage with our Discovery and Learning team about all things conservation and animals!
  • For the 11th year running, our Discovery and Learning team contributed to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. Our recorders were out and about around the zoo from March to October, identifying the number of pollinator species, specifically bumblebees and butterflies.

a bumblebee on a pink flower

📸 Antonia

  • Expanding our health monitoring programme was another key development in 2023. With plenty of patience, time, and commitment from our zookeepers, we were able to successfully trim a southern ground hornbills’ nails, calmly sedate a male Amur tiger for a veterinary procedure, and x-ray otters without the need for sedation.

Southern ground hornbill close up at Emerald Park

📸 Emma B

  • Continued professional development (CPD) for our zookeepers was another focus in 2023. We hosted a Birds of Prey conference in conjunction with Zoos.ie, allowing bird of prey keepers to come to the park to learn all about free lofting and recent research. Two of our zookeepers had the opportunity to travel to Drayton Manor and take part in a two-day keeper development skills conference, and two of our zookeepers are now fully accredited BIAZA trainers!

As the 2023 season drew to a close, it’s important to remember that among the highlights over the year, there are also lows for our zoo team, which make the job all the more challenging. The zoo team unfortunately had to say goodbye to some animals that they cared for this year.

Without the collective work between all members of our zoo team, we wouldn’t have all the amazing accomplishments throughout the year. Let’s see what 2024 has in store!

The Emerald Park Zoo Team