Northern Ireland

Causeway Safari Park: public asked to share memories of Co Antrim venue

Exhibition planned to remember park closed in 1997

At the Causeway Safari Park outside Ballymoney
At the Causeway Safari Park outside Ballymoney

People with memories of Causeway Safari Park are being asked to delve into the past, and root out photographs or camera footage, for a new exhibition on the venue.

The park, which closed in 1997, was situated at Benvarden outside Ballymoney in Co Antrim and is now an animal rescue kennels.

On the train at the Causeway Safari Park
On the train at the Causeway Safari Park

Causeway Coast and Glens Council is organising an exhibition to remember what it describes as one of the biggest attractions on the north coast for many years. The exhibition will be held at Ballymoney Museum in August.

“If you have any photographs, souvenirs, stories or even footage from your time visiting or indeed working at the safari park, please get in touch,” a spokesperson for the council said.

The safari park was opened in 1970 by Pat Stephenson. Visitors travelled in their own cars and buses and were able to see lions, tigers and baboons.

If looks could kill at Causeway
If looks could kill at Causeway

“Many visitors report of how their tyres were slashed by the lions and wipers, number plates and wing mirrors pulled off by the baboons,” the council said.

It was reported in 1986 the park had 34 lions, 6 tigers, 3 chimps, 22 monkeys, 2 leopards, 2 bears, zebras, camels, llamas, ponies and donkeys.

The water slide at Causeway Safari Park
The slide at Causeway Safari Park

In the park there was also what was described as an “American super slide”, a moonwalk, kiddy rides, bumper cars, trains, a free flight Aviary, a café and an ice cream parlour.

“There was also the curio shop where you could get your photo taken with a lion cub and have it made into a badge,” the spokesperson said.

Museum Services, which is organising the exhibition, can be contacted on Facebook, Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services, by email or by phone 028 276 60230.