Providing the bear necessities!

A construction team working on the A8 dualling scheme has rallied round to help make some home improvements at Belfast Zoo.

The Lagan Ferrovial Costain team (LFC) was involved from the planning stages of the bear enclosure renovations, right through to the upgrade and donated not only materials but also staff, time and equipment.

Their support and input means that the zoo’s Malayan sun bears, Indera and Bora, can enjoy new outdoor climbing structures, wobble feeders which require the bears to shake the tree trunks to get their food to topple out, tree trunks, bark pits, tunnels and hammocks.

The renovated Malayan sun bear enclosure was officially re-opened last

Belfast Zoo curator Julie Mansell who regularly travels the A8, said: “When you have worked at the zoo for a while, you start to see your surroundings very differently. Instead of seeing roadworks or building materials, you start to see potential bear climbing frames, wobble feeders and other enrichment materials.

“We are truly astounded with the thought, time, work and materials that Lagan Ferrovial Costain and their supply chain have donated to the project and the renovations simply wouldn’t have been possible without them.

“It’s definitely not just the ‘bear necessities’ for this project as the companies involved have exceeded all of our expectations with their generosity and attention to detail”.

Stevie Adamson, the LFC joint venture structures foreman, added: “It’s not every day you get approached and asked to renovate a sun bear enclosure but we were delighted to get involved in such an interesting community project. As our road project has such an impact on the community, we strive to constantly engage and give back to the community.

“The response from our sub-contractors and suppliers for this community project has been overwhelming. The A8 project designer, URS Belfast have designed the supports and Whiteside’s contractors, KDM Hire and Clare Farm Supplies have supplied materials and plant and Northstone Materials Limited supplied the concrete, all free of charge.

“We are extremely proud that we have been able to make a difference to the lives of the zoo’s Malayan sun bears, Bora and Indera.“

Come along this weekend and see Belfast Zoo’s Malayan Sun bears in their newly renovated hilltop enclosure. There will also be a full schedule of animal feeding times for visitors to enjoy. Visit for more information.

You can support the care of Belfast Zoo’s Malayan sun bears by taking part in the animal adoption scheme. Visit or call 028 90 776 277 extension 229 for more details.