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Bengal tigers set for Noah's Ark
Bengal tiger
The natural habitat of wild tigers in Asia may soon disappear

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has had a 200,000 tiger enclosure approved by North Somerset Council.

Farm bosses say Bengal tigers will arrive for the summer of 2009, and will be housed in the brand new enclosure.

Visitors will be allowed to be 'almost in arms reach' of the magnificent, and endangered, creatures.

The enclosure will feature basking platforms, to allow the big cats to enjoy the sun, with eye level platforms for visitors.

The enclosure is the result of two years of negotiations between Noah's Arm Zoo Farm and the council.

Several tunnels will be created as part of five open den plans which will ensure minimum stress for examination and treatment of the tigers.

We hope to breed our Bengal Tigers in the near future as their long term future in the wild is severely limited

Chris Wilkinson, head keeper

The enclosure will be sustainably led with harvested rain water used for the tiger ponds.

Head keeper, Chris Wilkinson, said: "Tigers are highly endangered in the wild so it is therefore essential that breeding in captivity continues wherever possible.

"We hope to breed our Bengal Tigers in the near future as their long term future in the wild is severely limited."

The one acre enclosure will be one of the largest of several planned new developments at Noah's Ark as part of the five year expansion plan.

Future animals planned to arrive include elephants and bears, along with a conservation building for teaching schools about local and global nature and wildlife.

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