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Animals settle into their new zoo habitats; SUN BEARS, TAPIRS AND RARE BIRDS MOVE INTO STUNNING PS40m ISLANDS ZONE.

Byline: GEMMA JALEEL What's On Writer gemma.jaleel@trinitymirror.com @gemmajaleel

HUGE new state-of-the-art habitats for sun bears, Malayan tapirs and Asian songbirds have been unveiled at Chester Zoo.

The habitats have opened in the zoo's PS40m Islands zone - already the largest zoological development in the UK - which features animal species native to South-East Asia.

The spectacular new indoor and outdoor area for visitors includes a stunning walkthrough bird aviary, filled with bird song, dense planting, streams and waterfalls as birds fly freely.

It brings together a whole host of Asian songbirds such as Asian fairybluebirds, Sumatran laughing thrush and, for the first time, the critically endangered Javan green magpie - all being pushed closer to extinction as a result of the illegal wildlife trade.

The Javan green magpie is one of the world's most endangered species and this is the first time it has gone on display to the public anywhere in the world.

The zoo's two sun bears, Milli and Toni, who were rescued from Cambodia after their mothers were killed by poachers and they were found as mistreated pets, are among the individual animals with new South-East Asian habitats.

Their new area features lush trees for the bears to climb and forage for food, a stream and, behind the scenes, a stateof-the-art area for cubs.

An impressive Malayan tapir exhibit features both outdoor and indoor pools while offering stunning viewing opportunities for visitors to enjoy a completely unique perspective of the animals.

Collections director at Chester Zoo, Mike Jordan, said: "Islands has really helped us raise the profile of some lesser-known species here at the zoo and driven a huge interest towards animals that are often overlooked. "We want to throw a spotlight on even more species and give visitors the opportunity to learn more and help make a difference, too."

CAPTION(S):

Javan green magpies are one of the world's most endangered species

A baby Malayan tapir explores its new home

Pink-headed fruit doves are among the species which can be found in the new bird aviary

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2017
Words:340
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