History of Living Coasts
The site that Living Coasts sits on is steeped in Victorian history, famously living life as a marine spa then later Coral Island, a leisure resort which was demolished in 1997 to make way for Living Coasts.
Living Coasts officially opened in July 2003 with a royal visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne. Since then it’s continued to grow and evolve into the unique attraction it is today.
2006 saw the first seal pup born at Living Coasts. We have introduced additional exhibits over the years, including Mysterious Mangroves which opened in 2009 and incorporates many types of fish including stingrays. Our Otter Rapids exhibit followed in June 2012.
In July 2013, the Zoo’s tenth anniversary was marked by a visit from His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO. In the same year, Living Coasts celebrated the announcement of a Marine Conservation Zone for Tor Bay.
In 2015, the story of Ursula the octopus and the search for a puzzle that could defeat her went around the world. At the end of the same year Living Coasts announced the death of Pat, the oldest female African penguin in the UK, at the ripe old age of 37.
In the past few years, staff and volunteers have led regular public beach cleans to help make Torbay a better place. We campaign against marine litter and have set an example by banning the sale of single use plastic drinks bottles. We are also aiming to reduce as much single-use plastic as we can around our site.
Our parent charity, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust became Wild Planet Trust in 2019. The new name was chosen to reflect the charity’s modern, inspiring and inclusive outlook.
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