Here is a small project I've recently been working on. I've tried to keep it journalistic and professional. This is a look back at what happened in UK zoos (and aquaria) in 2015. It's arranged chronologically down to the month, but once in a month section it is roughly alphabetical. I've only included news which is interesting/ important, I apologise for any news missed which may be seen as important. January: A baby Crowned Sifaka was born at Belfast Zoo. Sadly, Blackpool Zoo lost their 50 year old Asian Elephant, Indra. At Bristol Zoo, they see births for Ground Cuscus and Kowari. Chester Zoo achieves Europe’s first breeding of Cinnamon Frogs. They also see a Black Rhinoceros birth, mothered by seventeen year old Kitana. Colchester Zoo welcomes a female Darwin’s Rhea. They also successfully breed Fregate Beetles and two Pied Tamarins. The last Red-mantled Tamarin in Europe dies at Marwell Wildlife. Four Giant Otters are born at South Lakes Wild Animal Park. A group of seven Northern Rockhopper Penguins arrive at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. February: Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park welcomed a group of Barbary Macaques to the collection, they feature in an optional drive-through enclosure. Blue-eyed Black Lemurs arrived at Bristol Zoo. A new pack of African Hunting Dogs arrives at Colchester Zoo. Three Electric Blue Geckos hatch at Cotswold Wildlife Park. Anne the rescued Asian Elephant moves into her new home at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park. A Philippine Spotted Deer is born at Newquay Zoo. A Dusky Pademelon arrives at the Rare Species Conservation Centre. A Northern Luzon Cloud Rat arrives at Wingham Wildlife Park. Two Six-banded Armadillos arrive at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. March: Africa Alive! welcomed a male Drill from Bristol Zoo. Axe Valley Bird and Animal Park announced their Indochinese Leopard cats had produced triplets! Two Lion-tailed Macaques escaped from their enclosure at Belfast Zoo, after a previous incident in 2013 when six macaques escaped. Thankfully they were both caught. Bristol Zoo opened a new Australian Walkthrough aviary, housing Australian Birds, Yellow-footed Rock and Parma Wallaby; a step forward from the usual Wallaby walkthrough. Surprisingly one of the Rock Wallabies was pregnant when she arrived, but not quite a proper breeding for Bristol. A Babirusa piglet is born at Chester Zoo. Other arrivals include Green Aracari, Epaulette Sharks and a Luzon Scops Owl. Two Colombian Black Spider Monkeys are born to separate mothers. A male Southern White Rhinoceros is born at Cotswold Wildlife Park. Dudley Zoo welcomes a female Patagonian Sea Lion, called Deisy. A new exhibit called ‘Castle Creatures’ opens to the public within the castle. The Chief Executive, Peter Suddock, departs Dudley. A male Banteng is born at Edinburgh Zoo. Two Golden-cheeked Gibbons arrive at Exmoor Zoo. Highland Wildlife Park welcomes the only female Polar Bear in the UK, Victoria, into their collection. Kirkley Hall Zoo welcomes a pack of Bush Dogs from Chester Zoo. Two European Elk arrive at Knowsley Safari Park. Three False Gharials arrive at Paignton Zoo. Shaldon Wildlife Trust welcomes a female Bengal Slow Loris. Tropical World (Leeds) reopens after a £1.5million refurbishment. A new male Polar Bear called Pixel arrives at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. A new Entrance/ Visitor Centre opens at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. April: The Eureka Tropical House re-opened at Banham Zoo, following a fire in December 2014. One of the Lion-tailed Macaques became a repeat offender, and managed to escape from Belfast Zoo again! Potto arrived at Birmingham Nature Centre, they’re currently off-show. A Roan Antelope and more Babirusa are born at Chester Zoo. Colchester Zoo successfully breeds Spotted Hyaenas and a Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture. Cotswold Wildlife Park welcomes a litter of Wolverines. Sadly the last Purple-faced Langur at the park dies, he was the last one of his species in Europe. Dartmoor Zoo welcomes Jaguar back into the collection. A Narrow-striped Mongoose is born at Durrell Wildlife Park. A male Snow Leopard arrives at the Highland Wildlife Park. A White-collared Lemur is born at Linton Zoo. The only tinamou in a public collection in the UK arrive at Paignton Zoo, in the form of six Elegant Crested Tinamou. Cheetahs and Belted Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs arrive at The Wild Place. A Black-headed Spider Monkey is born at Twycross Zoo. Giraffes also return to the collection. ZSL London Zoo achieved a first UK breeding of Lake Oku Clawed Frogs. May: Africa Alive! brought in 1.1 Acacia Rats, these being the only ones on public display in the UK. Axe Valley Bird and Wildlife Park received 1.1 Palawan Binturong to their growing collection, A female Striped Hyaena arrived at Belfast Zoo from Africa Alive!. Bearded Pygmy Chameleons arrive at Bristol Zoo, they’re the only collection holding this species in Europe apart from Berlin Zoo! Grey-winged Blackbirds and White-tailed Jays arrive at Chester Zoo. An Okapi is also born. A Cherry-crowned Mangabey was born at Paignton Zoo. ZSL London Zoo opens a first for the UK, a Spider walkthrough! June: An Aye-aye is born at Bristol Zoo, this was the first birth of the species in the UK for eight years (and the previous birth was also at Bristol). Another new arrival is a Scolopendra gigantean, probably the first ever in Europe. A Blesbok is born at Chessington Zoo. White-winged Wood Ducks hatched at Chester Zoo, the first breeding by the zoo since 1993. A litter of seven non-subspecific wolves are born at Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park. Dudley Zoo welcomes Carpathian Lynx twins! Births at Edinburgh Zoo include Rock Hyraxes and a Mindanao Bleeding-heart Dove. Hamerton Zoo achieves a breeding of Canadian Lynx. A new collection opens in Kent called Hemsley Conservation Centre. Two European Elk, three Japanese Macaques, Turkmenian Markhors, Himalayan Tahr, Red Deer, a Bukhara Deer, Eurasian Lynx, a Musk Ox and a Przewalski’s Horse are born at the Highland Wildlife Park. A Black Wildebeest is born at Lake District Wildlife Park. Newquay Zoo achieves the first UK breeding in a public collection of Black Tree Monitor. They also welcome a Grant’s Zebra foal, the first time Newquay bred zebras. Two Lilacine Amazons hatch. A new collection opens at the former Blackbrook Zoo site, called Peak Wildlife Park. Wildebeest arrive at South Lakes Wild Animal Park. Snow Leopard cubs are born. A male Asian Elephant dies at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo from EEHV. A Guar and a California Sea Lion is born. July: A Crowned Lemur is born at Bristol Zoo. Pale-bellied Brent Geese are hatched at Castle Espie WWT, making it the first UK breeding of the subspecies. A new collection opens at Chester cathedral, named Chester Cathedral Falconry and Nature Gardens. Three Onager are born at Chester Zoo (to separate mothers). Also Baer’s Pochards hatch. And, possibly the biggest bit of zoo news of the year, Islands opens at Chester Zoo! New births at Colchester Zoo include Victoria Crowned Pigeons, a Gelada and a Smooth-coated Otter. A trio of Freshwater Crocodiles arrive at Crocodiles of the World. New births at Drayton Manor Theme Park include Northern Lynx and Fishing Cats. A Sulawesi Macaque is born at Dudley Zoo. Two Madagascar Crested Ibises hatched at Durrell Wildlife Park. A new exhibit opens at Marwell Wildlife, called ‘Wild Explorers’, it is home to Southern White Rhinoceros, Grevy’s Zebra and Scimitar-horned Oryx. Two Owston’s Palm Civets are born at Newquay Zoo. Giant Otters arrive at the Rare Species Conservation Centre. Snow Leopards are born at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. Three Dholes are born at West Midlands Safari Park. A baby Linnaeus’ Three-toed Sloth is born at ZSL London Zoo, it is hand reared by keepers. August: Borth Animalarium received 1.1 African Lions form Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. A world first for any zoo occurred at Bristol Zoo, twin Aye-ayes were born! Chester Zoo announces the sad death of the Spectacled Bear Franka. In other news Pekin Robins, Luzon Bleeding-heart Doves and a Brazilian Tanager all hatch and there are Red Panda cubs born. An Asian Elephant, to Thi Hi Way is born, she is later named Nandita. The second phase of Islands, The Monsoon Forest, opens; it is the largest zoo building in the UK. Nick the elderly Babirusa dies at Dudley Zoo after illness. An Eastern Kiang is born at Knowsley Safari Park. A Grey Slender Loris arrived at Newquay Zoo. Sadly, the Rare Species Conservation Centre announces it is to close at the end of August, as announced it officially closed its doors for the last time on the 31st of August. Shorelands Wildlife Gardens welcomes two female White-collared Lemurs. Three Amur Leopard cubs are born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. A Wattled Crane hatches at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. September: Senegal Bushbabies and Fossa babies made an appearance at Africa Alive! in September. Two Chameleon Forest Dragons went on-show at Birmingham Nature Centre, making them one of three collections in Europe housing the species. Parque Reunidos, owner of Blackpool Zoo, Aquarium of the Lakes and Bournemouth Oceanarium, announced it had money trouble, and was put up for sale. Chester Zoo sees the birth of a Sumatran Orangutan, to the mother Subis. Another birth is twin Pied Tamarins and a litter of Bush Dogs, as well as a Mountain Horned Dragon hatching. Round-eared Elephant Shrews go on-show, these being the only Elephant Shrews on-show in the UK. Sadly the Asian Elephant Bala Hi Way dies from EEHV. A L’hoest’s Monkey is born at Colchester Zoo. Cotswold Wildlife Park successfully hatches African Pygmy Goose. Two Eastern Black Rhinoceros arrive at Flamingo Land. Howletts Wild Animal Park says farewell to their African Elephant bull, Jums. He is later replaced by the male Coco. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm announces they will become home to Spectacled Bears in 2016. Three Lesser Adjutant Storks arrive at Paignton Zoo, from Bronx Zoo in the USA. Other arrivals are Electric Blue Geckos. Shorelands Wildlife Gardens is broken into and two birds went missing. Maned Wolves arrive at South Lakes Wild Animal Park. October: Arctic Foxes are planned to arrive at Axe Valley Bird and Animal Park, hopefully the sign as a rise in the popularity of this species in UK zoos! Two Sri Lankan Leopards arrived at Banham Zoo. A strange howling could be heard from the Monkey House at Belfast Zoo. A pair of Venezuelan Red Howler Monkeys arrived from the Netherlands. A Malayan Black Hornbill chick hatched at Birdworld. A Collared Finchbill hatched at Blackpool Zoo, one of only two zoos in Europe keeping this species. Bristol Zoo achieves their first proper breeding of Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby. They also announced the hatching of five West African Dwarf Crocodiles. Other arrivals are seven Electric Blue Geckoes. To top this, they announce a new venture in terms of a hotel! Three Pink Pigeons and Sun Bears go on-show at Chester Zoo, arriving from the Rare Species Conservation Centre (the Sun Bears that is). Two Tentacled Snakes are found to be carrying eggs. Sadly Hari Hi Way, an Asian Elephant, dies from EEHV. Javan Green Magpies arrive, this makes them the only zoo in the UK with the species. Dudley Zoo welcomes a new male Asiatic Lion from Mulhouse Zoo in France. Three ex-circus Lions arrive at Five Sisters Zoo. Two Eastern Black Rhinoceros arrive at Folly Farm. Hamerton Zoo welcomes a pair of Malayan Tigers from the Rare Species Conservation Centre. Two Snow Leopards are released into their new enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park. A male Eastern Black Rhinoceros is born at Howletts Wild Animal Park. November: Bristol Zoo announces the birth of a Pygmy Hippopotamus, but sadly she dies in December. They also receive 900 Lord Howe Island Stick Insect eggs from Melbourne Zoo. The UK’s only Painted Batagur arrive at Chester Zoo. Mutu a female Komodo Dragon at Colchester Zoo died from heart failure. A White-naped Pheasant-pigeon arrived at Edinburgh Zoo. Steller’s Sea Eagles leave the collection. A Maned Wolf escapes from its enclosure at Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park. Howletts Wild Animal Park says goodbye to its Grizzled Leaf Monkeys, as they’re released into Java (wild). Seaview Wildlife Encounter's doors closed for the last time on the November 1st. Two Giant Otters arrive at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. ZSL London Zoo announces the birth of a Western Lowland Gorilla. Three Grey Wolves are euthanised at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, this means they no longer hold the species. December: Blackpool Zoo announces the birth of a De Brazza’s Monkey. Sadly the last remaining Arabian Mountain Gazelle in Europe dies at Blackpool. Chester Zoo successfully hand raises Grosbeak Starlings. Dudley Zoo announces a £200,000 refurbishment plan. Lakeland Wildlife Oasis suffers terribly from flooding across its outdoor area. Port Lympne Wild Animal Park announces it will receive Spectacled Bears in 2016. South Lakes Wild Animal Park announces it is to close in January 2016, after Barrow Council announces several dangerous faults. Two Jaguars are born at Wingham Wildlife Park.