West Midland Safari Park has been bought by a major French leisure group.

Looping Group owns theme parks, aquariums, water parks and wildlife parks across Europe.

It means the Worcestershire theme park will now form part of a portfolio of 15 parks in France, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Portugal and Germany.

The new owners plan to develop the Worcestershire attraction with new features.

"We can confirm that The Looping Group has completed the acquisition of West Midland Safari Park," said a spokesman for West Midland Safari Park.

"Further information about this exciting development will be available later this year."

Ice Age attraction at West Midland Safari Park
 

Visitors will continue to be able to visit West Midland Safari Park at weekends until February 10 then it will reopen for half term and the summer as usual.

WMSP, which attracted around 700,000 visitors in 2018, was opened in 1973 by film star Sophia Loren.

As a result of buying WMSP, Looping will count around 4.3 million visitors per year and make a turnover in excess of €100 million.

Looping aims to become the European leader in the regional leisure park market.

A recruitment day is happening on Sunday, January 20.

West Midlands Safari Park is home to many animals including a herd of Rothchild's, one of the world's rarest sub-species of giraffe
A herd of Rothchild's, one of the world's rarest sub-species of giraffe, at WMSP
 


Laurent Bruloy, CEO of Looping, said: "We are very pleased to welcome a great management team and staff who will be key to developing the park into an even more exciting family destination, with our support and new feature investments.

"We want to keep the strong local anchorage of WMSP with its local communities and will continue the important role of WMSP towards animal conservation in and ex situ.”


Situated in Bewdley, the park boasts a four-mile drive-through safari, a theme park and the UK's largest animatronic dinosaur exhibit called the Land of the Living Dinosaurs plus an Ice Age exhibit too.

The safari is home to giraffes, elephants (including baby Sutton), rhinos, deer, wild dogs, tigers, camels, lions and more.

There's also a Discovery Zone where visitors can watch a sea lion show, see reptiles and penguins.

 

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