WATCH: First look at Marwell Zoo’s new £8m Tropical House

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  • Marwell Zoo’s new £8m Tropical House will open in March next year
  • Building will contain nearly 30 species including more than 1,000 fish
  • Chief executive calls it the zoo’s ‘largest and most ambitious project’ ever
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ANIMAL lovers can discover more about some of the world’s most exotic creatures as part of a ambitious new project at Marwell Zoo.

The wildlife park has unveiled its £8m Tropical House which will host a range of mammals, bird and amphibians.

Marwell's new �8m Tropical House due to open in March 2018

Marwell's new �8m Tropical House due to open in March 2018

Spanning two levels across a lush rainforest canopy, visitors will be able to come face-to-face with the animals and learn more about the diversity.

The glass-roofed structure - the size of two football pitches - will be open to the public in March next year.

Marwell’s chief executive James Cretney said: ‘This phenomenal exhibit is our largest and most ambitious project to date.

‘It is designed to be a key guest experience with clear and complementary education and sustainability.

Marwell Zoo's chief executive James Cretney

Marwell Zoo's chief executive James Cretney

‘We’ve still got the real tough job of getting all the animals in and properly synchronised together.’

Species inside the rainforest will include the crocodile monitor lizard - which can grow to more than eight feet in length - pygmy marmosets and more than 1,000 fish.

Mr Cretney added: ‘The house represents a high quality, novel and immersive exhibit creating much needed indoor and weather-proof space, adding to the oversall standard of the Marwell experience.

‘It will deliver guaranteed, close proximity animal viewing while enhancing and setting new standards of husbandry for the species displayed - we really are very excited about this.’

The building is created using the technology of ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) as used in the Eden Project.

The exhibit also aims to show the effects of climate change, and will be heated using recycled animal waste and woodchip from the zoo.

The zoo is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2020.

Ross Brown, the zoo’s animal collections manager, said the whole team was working hard ahead of the house opening.

Speaking at a media preview today, he said: ‘Masses of work has gone into this and it has been a labour of love for about five years.

‘Initially it started as finding a way for us to use the energy we have from the animals, and see if we can burn it in a boiler in heat different houses.’

It will open its doors on March 26 2018.