Hertfordshire's number one zoo has been shortlisted for not just one but two accolades in the East of England Tourism Awards. 

Paradise Wildlife Park is currently closed while essential maintenance tasks and upgrades around the site are made, in preparation for the rebrand to Hertfordshire Zoo.

The zoo will reopen to the public on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

The Comet: Amur tiger with visitors at Hertfordshire's Paradise Wildlife Park, which is rebranding as Hertfordshire Zoo.Amur tiger with visitors at Hertfordshire's Paradise Wildlife Park, which is rebranding as Hertfordshire Zoo. (Image: Paradise Wildlife Park)

Meanwhile, the popular attraction in White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, has been shortlisted for both ‘Large Visitor Attraction of The Year’ and ‘Experience of the Year’ in the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

Judges said their visit was “amazing and one-of-a-kind” and that “the staff are knowledgeable, engaging and friendly making the experience educational and unforgettable, instilling a deeper appreciation for these incredible animals and leaving memories to last a lifetime”.

The Comet: Moto the lion at Hertfordshire Zoo.Moto the lion at Hertfordshire Zoo. (Image: Cam Whitnall)

The zoo's ‘Feed a Big Cat Experience’ allows you to come face to face with Amur tigers, a pride of white lions or even snow leopards — some of which are the world's most endangered cats. 

A zoo spokesperson said: "We look forward to celebrating with all of the finalists and winners at a glamorous black-tie event on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at Snape Maltings in Suffolk."

Also named as finalist for the ‘Large Visitor Attraction of The Year’ in the East of England Tourism Awards are ROARR! in Lenwade, Norfolk, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter in Hertfordshire.

The Comet: Hertfordshire Zoo is a finalist in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year in the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.Hertfordshire Zoo is a finalist in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year in the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024. (Image: Hertfordshire Zoo)

The Comet: Hertfordshire Zoo is a finalist in the Experience of the Year in the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.Hertfordshire Zoo is a finalist in the Experience of the Year in the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024. (Image: Hertfordshire Zoo)

The Hertfordshire zoo was founded in April 1984 by founder Peter Sampson and daughter Lynn Whitnall, CEO, and it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

It is now home to over 800 animals including species that are critically endangered.

The Comet:  World of Dinosaurs at Hertfordshire Zoo. World of Dinosaurs at Hertfordshire Zoo. (Image: Paradise Wildlife Park)

There is also the World of Dinosaurs that features more than 40 life-size moving and roaring dinosaurs that don’t just entertain but also educate on the prehistoric era.

More recently, the attraction has opened new habitats such as Sun Bear Heights and Jaguar Jungle, and a new gibbon habitat is set to open, along with Paradise Wildlife Park rebranding as Hertfordshire Zoo this year.

A key focus for Hertfordshire Zoo is the conservation, in their natural habitat, of many of the threatened and endangered species that you will see.

Hertfordshire Zoo is situated seven miles from Junction 25 on the M25 and approximately 25 minutes from London Liverpool Street by rail.