Fota Wildlife Park opens new habitat

Fota Wildlife Park opens new habitat

Patrick O’Donovan, TD, Minister for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in Fota Wildlife Park, Co Cork for the opening of the new Spider monkey habitat which was part-funded by the OPW. PIC Darragh Kane

FOTA Wildlife Park was deemed a “national institution” yesterday as it opened a new habitat for its spider monkey residents.

Patrick O’Donovan, minister of state with responsibility for the OPW, lauded the wildlife park as he opened the facility alongside Michael McGrath, the public expenditure minister, and other guests.

Speaking about the crisis of funding the park went through during the pandemic, when doors were closed and no income was being generated, Mr O’Donovan said it should be protected.

Mr O’Donovan said the OPW was there to support the important wildlife park and would continue to do so into the future.

Construction on the spider monkey habitat commenced in early 2020 but was suspended by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The purpose-built house has been designed with environmental sustainability and animal welfare in mind.

The state-of-the-art house features a 4m-high ceiling that complements the animal’s natural behaviours.

The building has underfloor air-to-water heating and glass viewing areas so visitors may see the spider monkeys when they are indoors.

The upgraded enclosure has been enhanced by extending the island habitat — which is bordered by a water moat and accompanied by a new waterfall.

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