Featured Accommodation Dublin
This week’s featured Guesthouses are The Town House and Anchor House Dublin, if you are coming to Dublin to visit Dublin Zoo both The Town House and Anchor Guesthouse are within walking distance of all public transport facilities, these family run guesthouses offer luxury, comfort and above all else a very personal service. FREE Full-Irish Breakfast when you BOOK DIRECT on The Town House or Anchor House website.
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If you are visiting Dublin Zoo, why not make it part of a short break in Dublin as there is so much to do and see, and all at great rates for you and your family.
Dublin Zoo welcomed a record number of people through its gates last year, confirming its status as the State’s most popular family visitor attraction.
The Phoenix Park venue achieved an all-time high of 1,029,417 visitors in 2012, surpassing the previous year’s number by 2.5 per cent.
In 2011 the zoo attracted more than a million visitors for the first time in its 181-year history.
Visitor numbers last year were boosted by zoo’s new gorilla rainforest habitat which opened in late 2011.
There were also a number of new arrivals including two young Asian lionesses and a bull elephant, named Upali.
The young male elephant's arrival last summer represented an important milestone in the zoo’s attempt to cultivate a domestic elephant breeding programme. Keepers hope the elephants will mate and double the size of herd in the coming years.
Director Leo Oosterweghel said: “Reaching one million in 2011 was fantastic but to do it again and add to that number is phenomenal.
“We are delighted to say that the zoo is more popular than ever. We are extremely proud to be in a position to say that after a decade of continuous development that Dublin Zoo is amongst the best Zoos in the world.”
The zoo said its Christmas special programme, which aired on RTÉ One in December, was watched by an average audience of 429,000 viewers. Increased marketing, public relations and social media activity also contributed hugely to its strong performance, it added.
Anyone watching the Christmas Special Zoo programme will have been delighted to see the dedicated and professional zoo keepers, vets and management who ensure that one of our great national treasures, our animals at Dublin Zoo are being cared for with such love and affection. Dublin Zoo is not an island onto itself, but works with an international team of Zoo keepers who ensure that animals are paired and mated to protect endangered species.
Dublin Zoo has received an early Christmas gift in the form of two snowy owls.
The sibling birds, which have come from Linton Zoo in Britain, are less than 12 months old, and so it is too early to tell whether they are male or female.
The Arctic birds, characterised by their striking white plumage, are one of the largest species of owl.
In the wild, they are typically found in the far reaches of North America and along the icy fringes of the Arctic Circle.
The pair arrived in Ireland last month but were held in quarantine for three weeks before being introduced to their new habitat at the zoo last Tuesday.
They are among the few birds and animals in it likely to bask in the relative warmth of the Irish winter, given that they can withstand temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees in the wild.
While adult males are virtually pure white, females and young birds have more speckled coats.
Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise the owl as Harry’s famous feathered companion, Hedwig.
Dublin Zoo said the owls were particularly gentle in nature with excellent eyesight, and a keen sense of hearing.
California Sea Lion pup
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a male Californian sea lion pup, born to its mother Seanna last Tuesday morning.
The pup weighs just 3kg.
Like all Californian sea lions, he was born on land without the ability to swim, but his mother introduced him to the water on his second day of life and he has since become a confident swimmer.
Team leader Eddie O’Brien said the zoo was “thrilled” with the birth of the pup.
“I’m delighted to say that Mum and pup are doing very well,” he said. “Sea lions’ milk is so rich in nutrients and fat that our new arrival will grow very quickly.”
The pup will share his habitat with his mother, three-year-old sister Flo and another female sea lion called Cassie.
Dublin Zoo has given the name Tamu to a rare female Rothschild giraffe after inviting suggestions from members of the public.
The name for the zoo's new arrival means “sweet one” in Swahili and was submitted by Grainne Byrne of Summerhill in Co Meath.
The giraffe was born in June, joining ten other giraffes at the zoo. She has a pale tan coat, making her easily recognisable among the rest of the herd.
Team leader of the zoo’s African plains Helen Clarke-Bennet said the calf was doing very well. “She is an extremely well adjusted and relaxed calf, following the herd wherever they wander,” she said.
“We received an overwhelming number of superb suggestions and picking the winning entry was not easy. We chose the name Tamu as it fits her personality perfectly.”
The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species. Rothschild male giraffes grow to six metres in height and can weigh over 2000kg. Fewer than 700 now live in the wild. Their coat is a distinct mix of dark patches that are broken up by bright cream channel.