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The alligators go in two by two at Shuttleworth College

To Let: Spacious new home with own pool and tropical gardens.

This might have been the advert to attract alligators to the new £3.65m Zoological Educational Centre at Shuttleworth College which is now filling up with animals.

First in on Friday August 16th were the alligators into their own special pool within the biome which is a key part of the centre, the only one of its kind within a further education college in the UK.

Centre Curator, Carl Groombridge, welcomed architects, colleagues and some very lucky children along to see the ‘gators move into their new home. Having been carried one by one in a container from the former animal welfare training unit, under the supervision of a vet, the alligators were released. After exploring the bank they quickly dipped into their new pool – which is designed to be clearly visible above and below the water for students.

Carl said, amid the steamy jungle climate of the biome: “This is a dream come true for me and there is much more excitement to come as we move the other animals across into this marvellous new setting. We have been working closely with the Zoological Society of London to ensure our centre meets the highest standards of animal welfare.”

Bringing the Amazon and the Outback to Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth College’s ZEC will follow an “Evolutionary Pathway” where students will learn how to look after every “order” of the animal kingdom. It will include an aquatic room, bird flight area and outside paddocks for the bigger animals. 

The centre will open in the autumn in readiness for students who want to train for careers around the world in conservation. Shuttleworth College is part of The Bedford College Group.

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