Aquarists dive into new exhibit as part of final preparations - ahead of today's launch
Behind-the-scenes images show the Zoo’s expert aquarists and keepers making final preparations as they get ready to open the doors of Tiny Giants for the first time today (Monday 17 May) - in line with the Government’s roadmap for restrictions easing.
The living reef will form the centre point of the indoor attraction, with today’s planted corals set to bloom and grow over time, eventually balancing a colourful new ecosystem with the reef fish - including blue tangs and clownfish, otherwise known as Nemos and Dorys - sea snails and other aquatic animals sharing their underwater micro-world.
The corals - confiscated by UK Border Force after being illegally trafficked into the country and given a new home by ZSL’s experts - will also have a vital role to play in the conservation of their species, which are rapidly declining in numbers due to climate change.
Elsewhere, keepers unveiled the ethereal jellyfish tank - where visitors will be able to watch the gently soothing movement of moon jellyfish, floating in all their translucent glory - and settled Critically Endangered golden-eyed stick insects into new homes.
Shining a spotlight on the planet’s smallest superheroes - from underwater corals and the reef wildlife they support, to industrious leafcutter ants, spiders and beetles - Tiny Giants celebrates the largely unseen animals we rely on to survive.
ZSL’s senior curator of invertebrates and fish, Paul Pearce-Kelly, said: “Tiny Giants is a colourful and interactive celebration of the smallest and mightiest animals on earth – and is designed to educate people about the changes they can make to their own lives, to preserve these vitally important species.”
“Inside, visitors will find more than 160 species of incredible marine, freshwater and terrestrial invertebrates, including Critically Endangered partula tree snails - being reared as part of a vital breeding and reintroduction programme to save the species from extinction.”
Paul added: “These spineless superheroes do everything from pollinating the food we eat to cleaning up the environment - we quite literally couldn’t live without them and can’t wait to welcome our visitors into their miniature world.”
Behind the scenes of Tiny Giants, in a new, eco-friendly aquatic facility, work will also begin on vital collaborative projects to identify, breed and preserve corals - and the ecosystems they support.
Tiny Giants: From Minibeasts to Coral Reefs, opening on Monday 17 May, will be free with zoo entry. Visitors aged 11+ must wear masks while exploring Tiny Giants, and visiting groups are limited to two households or up to six people in all indoor areas at the Zoo - as per Government guidelines.
Book your tickets to London Zoo now: