By Elizabeth Archer
One of Leeds’ favourite attractions re-opened today after a £1.5 million refurbishment.
Tropical World in Roundhay now has a host of new aquatic life including red-bellied piranhas, octopi, clown fish, and stingray.
Head animal keeper Steven Dickie said he was excited to work with the dangerous creatures, although the staff would have to be cautious.
“Red-bellied piranhas are well-known to be pretty fearsome and ferocious. They are opportunistic feeders and if they get the chance to eat meat obviously they will.
“We’re planning to feed them mainly fish and things like prawns, but in the wild if something was swimming in the river and it was slightly injured or weak, the piranha would take full advantage.”
Joining the aquatic life in the new South American section are four cotton-top tamarins, which are only around nine inches long and swing above the fish tanks separated by a net.
Watch our video below to hear more about the new Aztec section.
Councillor Mark Dobson officially re-opened the attraction this morning, and said it held a special place in his heart having visited it with his children.
Cllr Dobson said: “Not only is it a great attraction but the refurbishments have made it more environmentally friendly.
“As you can imagine, Tropical World generates a lot of heat and under the old system that generated a lot of carbon, but we have saved 350 tonnes of that by installing a biomass boiler.
“The council decided it was important that Tropical World kept up with the times: we wanted to enhance what we already think is a fantastic place.”