Curraghs Wildlife Park

Curraghs Wildlife Park is a wildlife park in The Curraghs (also known as the Ballaugh Curraghs), an area of wetland in the north-west of the Isle of Man.[2]

Curraghs Wildlife Park
Curraghs Wildlife Park - - 1119218.jpg
An enclosure in the Curraghs Wildlife Park
LocationThe Curraghs, Isle of Man
Coordinates54°19′05″N 4°30′49″W / 54.3181°N 4.5135°W / 54.3181; -4.5135Coordinates: 54°19′05″N 4°30′49″W / 54.3181°N 4.5135°W / 54.3181; -4.5135
Land area26 acres (11 ha)
Official nameBallaugh Curragh
Designated6 September 2006
Reference no.1642[1]

The park is owned by the Isle of Man Government and was formerly administered through the island's Department of Community, Culture and Leisure.


The park was founded in 1963, under the Curraghs Acquisition Act 1963 (an Act of Tynwald). The Isle of Man Government purchased about 200 acres (81 ha) of land to be divided between 160 acres (65 ha) as a reserve and 40 acres (16 ha) as a wildlife park. The 26-acre (11 ha) park was formally opened by the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man, Sir Ronald Garvey on 23 July 1965.[3] It contains about 100 primarily wetland species from around the world in walk-through enclosures.[4]

15 acres (6 ha) of the park remains undeveloped and displays a variety of habitats such as bogs, Molinia grasslands, open water peat diggings, birch woodland and hay meadows. Nature trails run through this area with signage describing the ecology and history, comprising a nature trail, tree top trail and butterfly trail.

In 2005, as part of the park's 40th-anniversary celebrations, it was host to the annual meeting of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). In 2009 the park received the Small Collection award for "Best Education Project with schools" from BIAZA at a ceremony held at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside, in recognition of the park's work in education.[5]

The Curragh is designated as a "wetland site of international importance" under the Convention for Wetlands of International Significance, known as the Ramsar Convention.


After an escape of red-necked wallabies from the park in the 1960s, the species has established itself ferally on the island.[6]

In 1992 a sea lion named Orry was born at the Park. In 1994 he was sold to a dealer who sold him to a travelling circus in Belgium. He was rescued and given to Dudley Zoo, where he died in 2014.[7] The incident resulted in an unsuccessful motion of no confidence in the then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry John Corrin MHK.[8]

In April 2018, two lemurs were killed when a fire destroyed their enclosure.[9]

In October 2019, a red panda named Kush escaped from the park and was missing for almost three weeks.[10] Kush escaped again in January 2020 for around a week.[11]

Education and facilitiesEdit

There are educational facilities in the park, together with a children's farm (Close Beg) with domestic animals, play areas and The Orchid Line miniature railway.


Animals at Curraghs Wildlife Park include:[12]


  1. ^ "Ballaugh Curragh". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Archived 2011-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Isle of Man by David T. Webber Revised by Frank Cowin and F.J. Radcliffe page 46 (1997) The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-25-7
  4. ^ Wildlife park located next to the Ballaugh Curraghs
  5. ^ Curraghs Wildlife Park Honoured in 2009 Biaza Awards Archived 2013-02-05 at
  6. ^ "The Isle of Man's wild wallabies". BBC News.
  7. ^ "Dudley Zoo says farewell to Orry the sealion".
  8. ^[bare URL]
  9. ^ "Two lemurs found dead after Curraghs Wildlife Park fire". BBC News. 26 April 2018.
  10. ^ "It's home sweet home for escapee red panda".
  11. ^ "Red panda returns - again!".
  12. ^ Wildlife Park Animals Animal Index Archived 2006-02-10 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit