Location: Belfast Zoo
Address: Antrim Road, Belfast, BT36 7PN
Telephone: +44 (0)28 9077 6277
Andean (spectacled) bears
Alice (female). Born 1998 in South Lakes Safari Zoo, Lindal-in-Furness, Ulverston, Cumbria, England. Arrived at Belfast in March 2011.
Lola (female). Born 6 February 2016 in Belfast Zoo
Spook (male). Born 30 July 1994 in Belfast Zoo.
Sun bear (Malayan sun bear)
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. Click here to read more about this on the zoo’s website (opens in new window).
- Continuing signs of ineffective procedures and management
- Use of bears in breeding programmes
- 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.
Page created 22 July 2019