THE new wildlife and conservation park at Askham Bryan College was officially opened today.

The facility was opened by Kirsten Pullen of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is part of the college’s £6.8m Animal Management Centre.

The centre is used by students to study and work towards careers with animals, including animal keepers, education officers in zoos or in the field of research.

Current residents at the centre include Wesley the Wallaby - who was captured while on the run in York in 2014 - and animals as diverse as skunks, armadillos and mongoose, to lemurs, snakes and white lipped tamarins.

The centre also includes a wetland area, and larger farm animals including alpaca.