New species take centre stage in revamped areas of Tropical World

Leeds, Leeds Star

The latest stage of an exciting refurbishment programme at one of Leeds and Yorkshire’s most popular visitor attractions has been completed.

In what promises to be unmissable, Tropical World in Roundhay Park is offering visitors of all ages the chance from today (February 10) to experience a revamped Creature Corner and Waterfall Area to complement the Aztec-themed aquarium which was improved in spring 2015. Both the areas will boast a range of wonderful new animal species to enjoy.

The Aztec theme, which proved popular in the aquarium following the previous refurbishment, has now been introduced to the Waterfall House and Creature Corner. The animal habitats have been enhanced to allow visitors to get closer than ever before to exotic creatures. The work doesn’t only benefit the public, but provides more suitable spaces for the animals and easier access so keepers can provide the best possible care to the animal residents.

New species appearing at Tropical World for the very first time include: the vibrantly coloured Madagascan Giant Day Geckos; Vampire Crabs, so called because their yellow eyes contrast sharply with their purple bodies; a colony of Leaf Cutter Ants – just one ant can carry more than 50 times its own bodyweight; Tomato Frogs, which, as their name suggests are red in colour and resemble ripe tomatoes and Pink Toe Tarantula.

Whilst already being a firm favourite with visitors, the waterfall house is going to be even better; the waterfall has become volcanic, there are underwater viewing windows and an elevated viewing platform. From here visitors can look down onto two river monsters – the Arapaima and Red Tail Catfish.

Arapaima are the world’s largest freshwater fish capable of reaching three metres in length and over 100 kilograms in the amazon they are shaped like a torpedo and covered in bullet hard scales. Red Tail Catfish also grow to huge sizes and have been known to grow up to five feet long in the wild. At the over end of the spectrum is the Dwarf Caiman Crocodile hailing from the warm climes of South America with adults typically reaching weights of five to six kilograms.

Featuring in both areas are new information boards so visitors can learn about the wildlife and habitats of Tropical World and how the animals survive in the wild.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and sustainability, said:

“Thanks to the hard work and commitment of so many people at the council and of course the very generous support of the Ziff family over many, many years which has been absolutely fantastic, Tropical World remains one of our city’s most enduring and loved visitor attractions. It is brilliant news therefore that the next stage of our exciting refurbishment plan is now complete.

“On offer following the revamp are a wide range of new fascinating and wonderful species at Tropical World ranging from a Dwarf Caiman Crocodile to the Pink Toe Tarantula, which are sure to be a big hit with people of all ages. We hope visitors will return time and again to see how some of the new additions grow and reach their full adult sizes.

“By making this investment in popular attractions like Tropical World, Lotherton Hall and Home Farm at Temple Newsam, we are ensuring they remain fresh and exciting and continue to offer a great visitor experience for all the family.”

Another first for Tropical World is its new online booking system. Visitors can now book tickets in advance, online at www.tropicalworldleeds.co.uk to avoid having to buy them on site.

While a small increase in entrance fees of £1 for adults and 50 pence for children over 5 will be introduced, discounts will continue to be available for LeedsCard, LeedsCard Extra and Breezecard holders and entry for under five-year-olds will remain free.

The completion of this stage of the refurbishment plan at Tropical World will be followed by more redevelopment work to remodel the Butterfly House, Rainforest House, Desert House, Nocturnal House.

Boasting a wide range of animals from butterflies, birds, fish, reptiles, meerkats and nocturnal monkeys to bearded dragons and bats, children’s parties are now available at Tropical World. Find out more at www.tropicalworldleeds.co.uk, Twitter: www.twitter.com/tropworldleeds or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/tropicalworldleeds

Entrance prices at Tropical World are as follows:

Adults: £6.00

LeedsCard: £3.60

‘Extra’ cardholders: £2.40

Breezecard holders: £2.40

5 to 15 year olds: £3.00

Under 5s: Free