The hillside chalk lion at Whipsnade Zoo has been restored to glory

The large hillside chalk lion at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in England has been restored to its authentic glory, a 12 months and a half after work started on resurfacing the long-lasting landmark.

The well-known hillside chalk lion at Whipsnade Zoo in England has been restored to glory. Image: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The 147 metre-long Whipsnade White Lion was initially designed by R.B. Brook-Greaves, and work started to create it in November 1931. Almost two acres of land needed to be cleared to disclose the chalk, and the lion was lastly completed within the spring of 1933. During World War II, the lion was lined to stop it from being utilized by enemy plane as a navigation level.

The Whipsnade White Lion overlooks the Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire, and has at all times performed an integral function within the zoo’s life. In May 1981, as a part of the zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the lion was illuminated utilizing 750 lightbulbs. A choice as made to resurface the now 84-year-old landmark, and following the donation of greater than 800 tonnes of chalk, work started in September 2017.

An aerial view of the restored hillside chalk lion at Whipsnade Zoo in England. Image: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Winter climate and a steep incline made the restoration work difficult, however the last load of chalk was fastidiously smoothed out over the lion’s mane on 20 March 2018. “We are delighted to have restored this iconic landmark to its original glory,” says Owen Craft, common supervisor of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. “As a site of Special Scientific Interest, the Whipsnade White Lion and the area around it are cared for by the zoo all year round, using environmentally-friendly products to protect the native plants and animals. This new coating of chalk has made a huge difference to the eye-catching brilliance of the landmark.”

For additional info on ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, see right here.

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