Taking a look at some of 2016's highlights

Woburn Safari Park has seen a lot of new faces, new enclosures and entirely new exhibits over the past 12 months. 

Here, we recap through some of the highlights from the past year, month by month. 

January 

The start of the year is usually the quietest, although Kingdom of the Carnivores had two boisterous Amur tiger cubs who were now old enough to head out into their enclosure for the first time. 

To assist the keepers on the day were CBBC programme Blue Peter, and their presenter Lindsey Russell. 

February

The keepers had to sadly wave off the three male African lion cubs who went to live at West Midlands Safari Park and start a pride of their own. 

The Amur tiger cubs were also named, with both being decided through competitions. The winning suggestions were Mishka and Milashki

Lion Cubs At Woburn Safari Park

March

The first of the year's new faces began making their appearances when the baby Red Necked wallabies started to feel brave and were peeking out of their mother's pouches.

New Aldabra tortoise enclosure, Chelonia Pathways, also opened down in the Foot Safari, which enables visitors to walk amongst these beautiful giants. 

April

Keepers in Kingdom of the Carnivores were treated to an Easter surprise when North American black bear Phoenix emerged from her den followed by her three adorable female cubs!

Bear Cubs At Woburn Safari Park

May

There was the pitter-patter of tiny 'happy' feet down in Penguin World, with four Humboldt penguin eggs hatching. Goose, Mumble, Avocado and Chilli are all now fully grown and can be seen in their enclosure within the Foot Safari. 

The annual penguin charity event also took place this month, with over £3,000 being raised for the Punta San Juan charity. 

June

An unlikely friendship was formed when eland calf Queenie was born within a few days of Brindled wildebeest calf, Queensley. The duo have formed a close friendship ans still choose to spend time with each other out on the Reserve, something which is very unlikely for their species out in the wild. 

Wildebeest And Eland Calf

July

The annual BioBlitz survey took place at the Park and in the two years since it began, has resulted in many new species being discovered living within the safari park grounds. Exciting finds from 2016 included a Black Wave Moth caterpillar, which is now confirmed to be breeding in the area, and possibly a species of aphid (greenfly) not previously recorded in Bedfordshire, which is currently being verified by the national recorder. 

August

Asian short clawed otter, Kelani, gave birth to her first litter of five adorable pups back in the summer. The youngsters may now be six months old but they are still as playful as ever and are a joy to watch down in their enclosure, Otter Falls. 

Keepers also said a sad farewell to 18-year-old Amur tiger Neurka, who sadly passed away in August. In the wild, tigers would very rarely exceed 12-15 years as the effects of age on teeth, claws and joints make successful hunting increasingly difficult. For Neurka to reach 18 years old is a great testament to standards of care given by her keepers - she'd had a long life and was very much an elderly tigress.

Otter Babies Woburn Safari Park September 2016 18

September

A pair of stripy socks appeared in Giraffe Junction, when two critically endangered Somali wild ass foals were born. The females are extremely important for the future conservation of this species. 

Earlier in the summer, Woburn Safari Park held a charity fortnight in aid of animal conservation charity TUSK which included a stall in the leisure area, mini-VIP trips to see some of the animals up close and a fantastic evening safari and the chance to spend time with the Asian elephant herd out in the Woburn woodland. Over £15,000 was raised for this incredibly important charity.

October

The squirrel monkey troop increased in size with the arrival of four babies. Squirrel monkeys Tye, Ringo, Dougal and Bamboo each gave birth to healthy babies within a few days of each other.

November

After months of construction, the brand new giraffe house was completed and the herd were able to move in. The new house features lots of state-of-the-art upgrades including high-tech air sampling fire alarms, entire building insulation and special fans that recirculates heating back downwards and around the house. 

Thank you from everyone at Woburn Safari Park for your support over 2016 and we look forward to welcoming you for lots more exciting adventures in 2017.