LAST year was not only a bumper year for births at the Welsh Mountain zoo but for a crowdfunding project too.

The Colwyn Bay attraction welcomed babies from Lemurs, Meerkats, Red Squirrels, Flamingos, Humboldt Penguins and Bactrian Camels.

The year 2018 also saw the launch of the zoo's first ever crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £200,000 for major project - Silk Road.

Silk Road involves a completely new home for the Zoo’s Snow Leopards, to create a representation of the mountainous regions in which the endangered species lives. Links will be forged with China and the Himalayan mountains, exploring Chinese culture, language, environment and species that originate from there.

The attraction also celebrated its 55th birthday in 2018.

Nick Jackson, chief executive officer of the Welsh Mountain Zoo, said: “This is an important birthday for the zoo - we have now surpassed the half a century mark and are hurtling towards a full century and we have so much to celebrate. The launch of Silk Road formed an important part of our plans this year and we look forward to seeing those come to fruition later in 2019”

Individual conservation programmes continued in 2018 with the red squirrel project, whilst the successful rehabilitation of a number of seals saw the group swim off safely back into the sea once they were deemed strong enough to return to the wild.

Nick added: “Whist we strive to offer a wonderful day out for all of our visitors, we ultimately are here to help preserve and nurture certain animals that are struggling to survive in the wild. We’ve had much success this year in terms of breeding welcoming a host of new additions to our animal family and will continue to work with Zoo’s across the world to ensure we support the continued growth of our collections.

"2018 has been a fantastic year which has seen developments across so many areas of the Zoo.

"We look forward to building upon these successes further in 2019 where we’ll continue to expand and develop the infrastructure here and ultimately enhance the visitor experience."