They’re the exotic arrivals that should help ensure families heading to a Leeds visitor attraction have a really wild day out.
Staff at Tropical World in Roundhay Park yesterday threw open the doors to the attraction’s revamped creature corner and waterfall areas.
They have been given Aztec-style makeovers – but, perhaps more importantly for those who like to get up close and personal with the delights of nature, both areas are also home to a whole host of weird and wonderful new residents.
Species now safely ensconced at Tropical World include vibrantly coloured Madagascan giant day geckos and vampire crabs, so called because of their ghostly yellow eyes.
Also getting used to life in Roundhay Park are tomato frogs, leaf cutter ants, red tail catfish and even a dwarf caiman crocodile. Coun 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 toed 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.”
The completion of the creature corner and waterfall area upgrades follows recent improvements to Tropical World’s aquarium.
Further remodelling work is now planned for the attraction’s butterfly, rainforest, desert and nocturnal houses.
An online booking system has been introduced for people wanting to buy tickets in advance, go to the www.tropicalworldleeds.co.uk website for further details.
New information boards have also been put in place as part of the revamp so visitors can learn more about the wildlife and habitats of Tropical World.