THE Scottish Deer Centre just outside Cupar has been given two reasons to celebrate after gaining official zoo status and being named as Fife’s best visitor attraction.
The centre, which is owned by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, won the title of best visitor attraction as part of Kingdom FM’s local heroes awards, shortly after being accepted as a member of BIAZA, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Achieving BIAZA membership recognises the important role the Deer Centre is playing in animal conservation and public education and opens up new opportunities for the attraction to become involved with international breeding and conservation programmes.
As well as being home to around 150 deer, the centre also has wolves, birds of prey, Scottish wildcats, Soay sheep and otters.
Head ranger Simon Louden said: “I can’t explain how delighted the Deer Centre staff are with our two new accolades.
“Being named best visitor attraction in Fife is a real achievement and BIAZA is something we have been working towards for years.
“Gaining BIAZA membership is an affirmation of the standards of animal welfare, conservation, education and research that is going on at our Deer Centre.
“We are already involved with a number of conservation and breeding programmes but want to participate in worldwide initiatives as much as we can.
“In the past, a zoo’s primary purpose was to entertain the public, but this is no longer the case,” continued Simon.
“Our objectives are clear - conservation, education and research.
“This is why it is important to have a collection of animals that makes sense and helps to communicate a message to the visiting public.”