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  • Northside West

New Discovery and Learning Centre opens at Dublin Zoo

Thursday, 6th September, 2018 7:00pm
New Discovery and Learning Centre opens at Dublin Zoo

Andrew Tenant (4) has some fun in the new Discovery Centre. PHOTO: PATRICK BOLGER

New Discovery and Learning Centre opens at Dublin Zoo

Andrew Tenant (4) has some fun in the new Discovery Centre. PHOTO: PATRICK BOLGER

DUBLIN Zoo’s new €3 million Discovery and Learning Centre has been officially opened by President Michael D Higgins.

The new centre includes two classrooms and a lecture theatre as well as the discovery centre that will be open to students, schools and colleges throughout Ireland.

President Higgins was joined at the opening ceremony by President of the Zoological Society of Ireland, Michael Daly and Director of Dublin Zoo, Leo Oosterweghel.

The new centre provides immersive education experiences in biodiversity, wildlife conservation, ecology and zoology and is housed in an entirely new building within the zoo.

Its two large classrooms are designed to ensure the exciting, interactive programmes and workshops will be delivered to the best standards in education practice.

The lecture theatre will host both lectures and educational conferences for up to 110 people in its auditorium.

The Discovery Centre is home to a full-size giraffe skeleton, a model of a southern white rhinoceros, a pair of African lions and a nesting ostrich amongst many other fascinating animal specimens.

It is designed to bring visitors on a visual and tactile journey of discovery about hundreds of species and spark curiosity and a sense of wonder for the natural world for all visiting Dublin Zoo.

Speaking at the official opening, zoo director Leo Oosterweghel said it was a significant moment in the history of Dublin Zoo, as well as environmental and conservation education in Ireland.

“The new Discovery and Learning Centre at Dublin Zoo is a world class facility open to any student in Ireland who wishes to further their knowledge of the environment and conservation,” he continued.

“We have designed this facility to inspire curiosity of the natural world.

“The establishment of the Discovery and Learning Centre places Dublin Zoo as leading provider of environmental and conservation education in Ireland and we are very pleased to have President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins to open this fantastic building.”

Manager of the zoo’s Discovery and Learning Department, Aileen Tennant, spoke about the role the new facility would have for education in Ireland.

"It's really exciting because the Zoo Education department has grown so rapidly in the past few years, and we will be able to grow even further,” she said.

Groups looking to avail of programmes from the Discovery and Learning Department can e-mail or call 01-4748932.

You can also find out more about programmes from the website at

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