Leeds ,

Meerkats back at Tropical World after dramatic Great Escape attempt

The meerkats have now returned to their familiar surroundings at one of Leeds’s most popular visitor attractions following an audacious Great Escape type breakout attempt by four members of the gang recently.

Repairs have now been completed to the Meerkat enclosure at Tropical World after the group, showing great cunning and ingenuity, had managed to tunnel their way out of their day-to-day home and into a nearby section of cactus beds. An eagle-eyed member of the public luckily spotted the escapees, and while they were returned safe and sound to their family and friends, it did mean that they would not be on view to the public until repairs were completed.

With the meerkats return to their enclosure today also marking a return to public view, members of staff at Tropical World will be keeping a very close eye on the gang to ensure no more amazing escape plans are being hatched.

Home also to a wide range of animals from butterflies, birds, fish, reptiles and nocturnal monkeys to bearded dragons and bats, Tropical World has now also welcomed a host of new arrivals to its ranks following the revamp. On offer includes an octopus, seahorses, stingray, dart frogs, Asian Tigerfish and a red bellied piranha that sit aside other improvements such as the introduction of a fantastic new aquarium, a new toilet block with changing facilities, rainforest themed mosaics and environmentally friendly electrical and heating improvements. After experiencing the delightful wildlife there is a chance to relax and enjoy a tasty snack or drink in the new conservatory extension to the café which overlooks the beautiful Canal Gardens.

In 2013, 390,000 people visited Tropical World, making it the Yorkshire and Humber’s third most popular paid attraction.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said:

“We are delighted to welcome back the meerkats to their permanent home at Tropical World today, after the very interesting events recently that saw four of the gang tunnel their way out of the enclosure and into a nearby cactus bed several metres away!

“The meerkats are loved by visitors of all ages to Tropical World, and everyone has really missed them since repair work had to be undertaken on the enclosure which meant they were unable to be on public view. I would also like to offer, on a serious note, a big thank you to the Tropical World staff for their high quality care in ensuring any disruption to the meerkats was kept to an absolute minimum during the time they were away from their familiar surroundings.”

Notes to editors:

For more information regarding Tropical World please access on the web: www.leeds.gov.uk/tropicalworld; Twitter: www.twitter.com/tropworldleeds or Facebook: www.facebook.com/tropicalworldleeds

Entrance prices at Tropical World are as follows:

Adults: £5.00LeedsCard: £3.00‘Extra’ cardholders: £2.00Breezecard holders: £2.005 to 15 year olds: £2.50Under 5s: Free

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk