Blackpool Zoo hit back at a disgruntled visitor after claiming the tourist attraction was “not as good as it used to be”.
The visitor’s unpleasant review saw them complain about several things including the number of animals that were “few and far between” and “no lions or tigers” due to renovations at the big cat enclosures.
Blackpool Zoo has regularly updated tourists about the ongoing renovations on its advertisements and has even amended ticket prices to reflect the lack of big cats, who will return in the spring of 2023.
Despite having an overall average of 4.5 out of 5 from over 6,600 reviews on TripAdvisor, with over 4,000 ‘excellent’ ratings, the visitor was clearly unhappy despite rating the zoo with a 3/5 mark, as reported by LancsLive.
Under the subject heading of “not as good as it used to be”, the London visitor wrote: “Didn’t see many animals. No lions or tigers as they are building a new enclosure for 2023. Monkeys were not seen. Animals were far and few. So we left and went into ball pit.”
However, a Blackpool Zoo spokesperson set the record straight with a lengthy response to the review.
It read: “Thank you for your review. The big cat house renovation has been planned for some time and, I’m sure you can appreciate, is essential to improve the environment for our much-loved big cats.
“We are creating a state-of-the-art facility designed around the specific needs of each species, where both the indoor and outdoor spaces are being extended. This would not be possible to do with either species still here during the renovation. They are due back spring 2023.
“The information regarding big cats is in bold writing at the top of the online ticket page; to make people aware before purchasing tickets. It has also been communicated via our social media, other places on our website (exhibit page and price page), it is on the ticket confirmation email and is on signs in the car park and throughout the main entrance (for those who have not purchased online).
“Even without the big cats, we have over 1,000 animals in the park including elephants, giraffes, great apes, penguins, sea lions, red pandas and many more rare and endangered species.
“By attending the talks, feeds and demonstrations, many of these can be seen at close quarters. The rest may take a little patience as they are given the choice whether to hide or sleep as they please.
“Luckily, our park is not too big and it’s easy to get back to see animals you may have missed. I’m sorry you were disappointed on this occasion.”
Blackpool Zoo opened in 1972 with its popularity amongst locals and tourists seemingly increasing over the years. Even as recently as Tuesday, a five-star review was left about the “amazing” experience for their family.
It read: “Amazing!!!!! Such friendly staff. Beautiful animals. Cafes amazing. Toilets super clean. Just overall loved it. Took about 3 hours at a normal pace as we have an autistic son who speed walks!!! Coming back next year when the big cats are open it looks very exciting!!!!!”