Big cats are on the prowl into Pembrokeshire - to take pride of place at Folly Farm.

The top tourist attraction announced this week that a pride of African lions will be welcomed to its zoo in the summer.

Work has just begun to construct a £500,000 lion enclosure on an acre of land in the centre of the zoo.

The 14-foot high enclosure will be surrounded by steel mesh and thick reinforced glass, through which people can view the animals in the lion house and grounds.

Last year, Folly Farm recorded its best-ever visitor record numbers after launching Penguin Coast, and knew that would be a tough act to follow.

So they listened to visitor feedback and decided to make lions - the Pride of Pembrokeshire - the next big attraction.

Explained zoo manager Tim Morphew: “Lions are the most majestic of the big cats, and they are an iconic species for our conservation work.

“Working with Wildlife Vets International, we will use the exhibit to raise awareness of, and fundraise for, their big cat projects in the wild.”

The African lions coming to Folly Farm are a species currently classed as ‘vulnerable’ and will be a flagship exhibit for the zoo’s conservation work.

The Pride of Pembrokeshire project will create two zoo-keeper positions and will open to the public before the summer holidays.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy, tourism and communities, Councillor David Pugh, broke the ground for the new enclosure and said: “This is fantastic news for our county.

“Folly Farm has a strong track record of reinvestment, and this project is another example of why they are one of the leading tourist attractions, not just in Pembrokeshire, but in Wales.”

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