Black panther set for Lincolnshire Wildlife Park

Coming soon to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park ... Zuri.
Coming soon to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park ... Zuri.

A black panther is to become the latest paw-some addition to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney.

The seven-year-old old melanistic leopard, named Zuri (Swahili for beauty), will enter his newly designed enclosure at the attraction on Monday, May 1, at 11am.

The site is already home to the UK’s largest collection of Bengal tigers.

Zuri has been offered to the sanctuary from a main stream zoo for long-term sanctuary.

The big cat will live in five-star, central heated accommodation which offers such facilities as a swimming pool with waterfalls, sand pits, climbing poles, and basking areas.

The enclosure also allows for visitors to get as close as 39 millimetres to this creature from behind the bullet proof glass or listen and smell him as he walks past a 300mm protective mesh.

Melanistic leopards are now listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List as becoming highly endangered with their numbers dropping drastically over the past five years.

Martin Brown, the sanctuary’s communications officer, said: “This is another major addition to the sanctuary and very exciting, there’s a real buzz around the place especially where our social media is concerned.

“Steve Nichols our CEO has become a bit of an internet sensation with the parks Facebook Live Videos, we’ve had up to 150,000 viewings on anyone of the videos.

“He mentioned a new animals arrival but kept it a secret and since then we have been receiving hundreds of enquiries guessing what we could be taking on from our eagerly awaiting supporters.”