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His Excellency opens new attraction during visit to Curraghs Wildlife Park

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

HE visits WIldlife ParkHis Excellency the Lieutenant Governor has formally opened an enclosure for two of the Curraghs Wildlife Park’s newest inhabitants.

Silvery gibbons Slamet and Nakula arrived at the park in July after the Aspinall Foundation and the Javan Primates Conservation Project selected the park to join a prestigious breeding programme for the endangered animals.

The gibbons’ enclosure was two years in the preparation and incorporates an island and a rope bridge.

His Excellency – a keen conservationist and trustee of the UK’s Orangutan Foundation – visited the animals first as he toured the 24-acre park in Ballaugh with Lady Gozney.

They met park staff and members of the Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, a registered charity that supports the work of the attraction and contributed £30,000 towards the cost of the gibbons’ enclosure.

During the tour, led by David Cretney MLC, Member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture responsible for the park, they also saw the two new lynx which arrived at the park in July and the family of Brazilian tapirs that was recently extended with the birth of baby Rio.  

His Excellency and Lady Gozney also enjoyed a ride on the Orchid Line, the miniature railway operated by the Manx Steam and Model Engineering Club, and met club volunteers.

They admired the giant elk statue unveiled to mark the park’s 50th anniversary last year, commissioned by the Friends and supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.

They also viewed outline plans for a new ‘gateway’ building that would provide new facilities for the park.

His Excellency said:

‘I am very glad to highlight the conservation work of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, by opening the silvery gibbons’ enclosure.

'Despite living in Java for seven years in the mid 1970s and again in the early 2000s and spending time in one of the silvery gibbons’ remaining hideouts, I never managed to see one until today.

 ‘Diana and I have heard the dawn calls of other Indonesian gibbons in Sumatra and Borneo, so the people of Ballaugh may find less need for their alarm clocks.’

Mr Cretney said:

‘We are continually investing in the park to add to its appeal to locals – many of whom visit it several times a year to enjoy a great day out ­– and the Island’s growing number of visitors.

‘We were therefore pleased to welcome His Excellency and Lady Gozney and grateful for the opportunity to tell them about recent improvements at the park and our future plans.’

The park is home to 75 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. Last year it attracted almost 53,000 visitors.

It is open daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5pm) until the end of school’s autumn half term.

To book tickets/for information, visit

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