Record numbers at Pets’ Corner
The popular Pets’ Corner in Hazlehead Park has recorded its highest visitor numbers after a £750,000 renovation and two new baby meerkat residents were introduced to the facility.
Numbers of people visiting Pets’ Corner in July 2017 were 24,971, compared to 8,300 for July 2016 and the total for 2016 (January – October) was 45,434. And, Saturday 8 July had the highest number of visitors the facility has ever had in one day – 1,640.
Aberdeen City Council communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said the renovation which was finished at the end of June and the two new furry friends introduced on 7 July have proved the attraction has been made even more popular.
She said: “The number of extra people is fantastic coming to see the meerkats and the £750,000 renovations and I’m sure visitors from both near and far have enjoyed the new facilities and residents.
“Pets’ Corner has been popular with families for years and the refurbishments and new additions have made it a really exciting place to go for people of all ages, particularly in the beautiful setting of Hazlehead Park.
“We hope more new visitors come to Pets’ Corner to see all the attractions.”
Other animal attractions at Pets’ Corner include alpacas, kune kune pigs, geese, turkey, chickens, sheep, goats, Shetland pony, miniature donkeys, fish, reptiles, budgies, ducks, finches, chipmunks, guinea fowl, ferrets, rabbits, chinchilla, guinea pigs and Vadar the albino Burmese python.
Gethin the pygmy goat was a new arrival last July and has proved a popular attraction for both young and old alike.
Donald Shaw, chairman of Friends of Hazlehead Park charity group which works with Aberdeen City Council to improve the facilities at the park and promote its attractions, said: “One of our top priorities was to modernise and improve Pets’ Corner and further transform it into an interpretive/educational centre for the city and shire. We’ve worked tirelessly with the City Council over the past five years to make this happen.
“It’s fantastic, the work to the aquarium and reptile section is now finished and the interpretation centre in extended Pets’ Corner will be fully opened shortly providing a boost to the park which will give people, and particularly families, a great reason to visit the area and see for themselves all the fantastic facilities and animals there are.
“We are really delighted with the finished facility. The huge interest and support shown by the public has been brilliant and is testament to vision of this investment.”
The work at the council-run facility included replacement of the roof over both parts of the buildings, internal alterations and refurbishment, the installation of new fish and reptile tanks, new toilet facilities, new external access ramp and paths, and an upgrade to the staff facilities.
Work is continuing on the education room where the meerkats are getting their own new specially-built enclosure.
A competition was held for primary school children to name the two baby meerkats and an announcement will made soon to reveal their names, along with a winner pulled out of a hat.
The summer opening hours for Pets’ Corner are every day from 10am to 5.30pm. The admission charges are:-
Adult 16+: £3
Child 3-16 years: £1
Children under 3 years: Free
Family Pass – 2 Adults 3 Children or 1 Adult 4 Children: £6
Access to Leisure & Concession: £2
Educational Group: Adult £1.50, Child 3-16 years 50p
Yearly Family Pass: £30
Councillor Yvonne Allan and Donald Shaw, Friends of Hazlehead Park, looking at the meerkats at Pets’ Corner