23 Nov 2022

We’re ‘Always Building’, and over the next couple of years you’ll see some EXCITING changes and temporary closures in the zoo.

Explore more Zoo news

Our founder George Mottershead coined the motto ‘Always Building’ during the 1950s post-war period of development. We’ve carried on his philosophy of constantly exploring new ways to adapt, evolve and innovate in our mission to prevent extinction.

Throughout the next few years we’re developing some of the most exciting new additions the zoo has ever seen. This includes our project to bring an authentic African savannah with lodge-style accommodation to the zoo with the new Heart of Africa zone. We’re also delighted to be developing a state-of-the-art snow leopard habitat which is set to open in 2024.

George Mottershead, founder of Chester Zoo
George Mottershead, our founder, adopted the mantra ‘Always Building’. It’s that approach of constant development that’s helped us become one of the UK’s largest zoos, with 128 acres of zoological gardens to explore.

Temporary closures

Ambitious developments like this will mean certain areas of the zoo may not be accessible over the next couple of years. This page will be kept up to date with all of the latest information on animal moves and temporary area closures, so please keep checking back.

Animals in temporary behind the scenes habitats

Some animals are currently being safely housed in our temporary behind the scenes habitats. These habitats have everything the animals need, but are not accessible to the public:

Grevy’s zebra
Roan antelope
Rock hyrax

Animal habitat moves

Other animals have been moved to different habitats in the zoo during the course of the development work:

Cheetahs – Moved to a habitat near to The Oakfield, in section H of the zoo map
Painted dogs – Moved to the old cheetah habitat, visible from the wooden bridge in section G of the zoo map

Find out all of the different ways you can keep informed about changes at the zoo before your next visit:

Our app is always kept up to date with any path closures or animal moves, so it’s a must-have on your next visit. It’s the best way of finding everything you need on your zoo adventure!


You can download a PDF version of our map, or buy one on the day of your visit. It’s perfect for planning the routes you’ll take and the animals you want to see.


Our members are the first to know about the latest developments at the zoo. Sign up for a membership today and get behind the scenes information, plus unlimited visits to the zoo!


Please note: We are unable to provide exact dates for animal moves or area closures in advance, as any closures or movements need to be scheduled to cause minimum disruption to animals.