Location: Belfast Zoo

Address: Antrim Road, Belfast, BT36 7PN

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9077 6277

Email: info@belfastzoo.co.uk   Feedback: feedback@belfastzoo.co.uk

Website: http://www.belfastzoo.co.uk


Andean (spectacled) bears

Alice (female).  Born 1998 in South Lakes Safari Zoo, Lindal-in-Furness, Ulverston, Cumbria, England.  Arrived at Belfast in March 2011.

Spook (male).  Born 30 July 1994 in Belfast Zoo.

Sun bear (Malayan sun bear)

Indera (male).  Born March 2010 in Singapore Zoo.  Arrived at Belfast in September 2011.
Bora (female).  No further information available at present.


Bear Conservation has not yet visited this zoo.

Belfast Zoo opened in 1934 and is owned and operated by Belfast City Council.  The site covers 55 acres (22 hectares).

In December 2016 the Zoo failed its European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) accreditation inspection.  Amongst a number of causes for concern the EAZA inspectors pointed out that the level of aggression between the Andean bears “is unacceptable and (results in) questionable welfare for the male”.

The inspectors recognised the cause as being the birth of the cub (Lola) and that Spook had only recently been reintroduced to Alice but wrote that “the level of aggression the team witnessed was too high”.

The zoo subsequently received accreditation.

More recently there have been further concerns following two animal escapes from the zoo.  In January 2019 a red panda escaped from the zoo and in February 2020 a chimpanzee escaped from its enclosure in the zoo.

In May 2014 the newly renovated Malyan sun bear enclosure was reopened. 


  1. Continuing signs of ineffective procedures and management
  2. Use of bears in breeding programmes
  3. Dated nature of facilities.  In their 2016 report EAZA said that the Andean bear house is old and its design makes it difficult to manage a family group, and it is very dark.

We do not at present have any information on the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes for the bears in Belfast Zoo.

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Page updated 20 February 2022