Walk on the wild side as wolves come to Almondsbury's Wild Place

A pack of wolves have been settling in at The Wild Place Project (photo by Bob Pitchford) (4660689)

A pack of wolves have been settling in at The Wild Place Project (photo by Bob Pitchford) (4660689)

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WOLVES have arrived in South Gloucestershire for the first time in 500 years.

A pack of wolves is settling in to life at Almondsbury’s conservation park.

Five European grey wolves have put the wild into the Wild Place Project at Hollywood Tower Estate.

The £1million attraction, which is part of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society, opened last July and is slowly expanding its menagerie.

It is the first stage towards the society's plans to create a National Wildlife Conservation Park.

The wolves, all young males, have moved to South Gloucestershire from Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland.

These are the first wolves in the county in 500 years since King Edward I, who reigned from 1272 to 1307, successfully ordered the total extermination of all wolves in his kingdom.

They are the first carnivores at Wild Place and are living in the new Wolf Wood exhibit, an area of woodland designed to mimic their native habitat.

A log cabin-style shelter has been built for the pack with two separate sleeping dens for the wolves.

Animal operation manager Will Walker said the exhibit was exciting for guests and staff alike.

“We have a young group which should be active and fun to watch throughout the whole day," he said. "With a ranger situated within the guest viewing ‘woodman’s hut’ there will be opportunities for visitors to learn lots of fascinating and exciting facts about wolves.

“The signage around the exhibit will take visitors back through time, exploring British woodland, to when wolves and other now eradicated species were once present in the UK.”

He added that keepers will be working hard to develop inventive enrichment activities to keep the intelligent animals content and thriving.

Wild Place is comprised of various eco-systems including an East African Savannah, designed to recreate as closely as possible animals' natural habitat.

The lemur walkthrough in the Madagascar section is proving particularly popular, showcasing mongoose, ring-tailed and red-bellied lemurs hopping from tree to tree.

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