A WHOLE new world of watery wonder can now be found at Sea-Life Adventure, following its re-opening on Saturday.
Following a £680,000 redevelopment the popular Southend attraction has virtually doubled in size, in just five weeks, and now features lots of new animal attractions, including penguins, meerkats, otters and a royal python.
Visitors flocked to see the changes during its re-opening on Saturday, including Southend councillors Anne Holland and John Lamb.
“It’s been a massive redevelopment, allowing us to include some major additions to the aquarium,” said Lucy Hodge, Sea-Life Adventure’s director. “These included installing a huge new tank to house some real, monsters of the sea that we have rescued mainly from individuals who buy them as babies and don’t realise how large they get!”
Sea-Life’s two Asian short clawed otters have come to Southend from Newquay Zoo, in Cornwall, while its three meerkats were originally kept at Dundee’s Camperdown Wildlife Centre. The penguins remain in Essex, having made the relatively short hop down to Southend from Colchester Zoo, and all the new creatures are either rescue or captive born but were overcrowded in the previous homes.
“These new developments and additions to Sea Life take us to a whole new level,” Lucy adds. “With more exhibits and exciting animals than ever before, we have been able to create a vast array of brand new interactive experiences, such as a Tropical Rockpool, so you’ll now be able to hold the crabs and starfish as well as some exciting new reptile and bug encounters.
“By doing all this, we aim to engage far more deeply in promoting and raising public awareness of environmental conservation and protecting animals that are constantly threatened by the modern world. As part of this development, Sea-Life Adventure has joined the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and we are looking forward to working with them to promote conservation awareness. We’d also like to thank Matt Ford from Specialist Wildlife Services for his help with the development. ”
Marc Miller, managing director of the Stockvale Group, Sea-Life Adventure’s parent company, added: “Our policy of regularly re-investing in and enhancing our portfolio of attractions has a positive impact on Southend. Residents of the town and surrounding area now have a fantastic new opportunity to discover the new animals and learn all about them. Not only that, the expansion of one of the landmark attractions will further encourage visitors to the Southend, bringing inward investment to the local economy.”