A North East company is helping transform one of the smallest zoos in the world.

Alameda Wildlife Park in Gibraltar has partnered with n-gage.io, to use technology to modernise and engage better with visitors.

Jessica Leaper, manager at the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, is on a mission to spread the word on what this unique park does, and what needs to be done to keep it fulfilling its mandate, while also looking after visitors from around the world.

The AWCP, which began in the 1990s, is a small wildlife conservation park and home to a variety of exotic animals, confiscated or unwanted pets and endangered species. It started on a one-acre disused golf course within the greater Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. This was in response to the exotic animals found on container ships passing through the straits that had been confiscated by Gibraltar customs.

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To support the park’s many initiatives and objectives such as education on endangered species, they teamed up with n-gage.io, based at Aycliffe Business Park, County Durham, to develop an innovative audience engagement platform that comes complete with an interactive visitor experience app.

Led by entrepreneur Bryan Hoare and incubated by GCV Labs, n-gage.io aims to transform audience experiences through an integrated mobile-web application.

Jessica said: "We are a small park with a big message. A small space, but big ideas and small actions spark bigger results.”

The Northern Echo: Animals online at Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, GibraltarAnimals online at Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, Gibraltar (Image: Press release)

When she took over as manager many years ago, the park was in dire need of modernisation and funding, but after meeting Maxine Bradley, the founder of Northumberland Zoo, she was encouraged to try n-gage.io.

“What stood out most was the app’s ability to do all the things we really struggle to find the time to perform but that are essential for the everyday operations and sustainability of the park.," she said.

Things like management of memberships and all the background stuff – in other words the admin. It’s easy to find the personnel who want to be with the animals but not the paperwork, so we had to find a way to make that simpler as well as attractive.”

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Bryan Hoare, CEO of n-gage.io, said: “Perhaps one of the more unexpected benefits of the app, is that being digital and the perfect platform for digital content creators and marketers, Jessica is now able to attract younger digital-savvy people into the park to help. It’s an ideal place for young volunteers to at once, develop skills and become more aware of the physical world around them – a bonus for her team, and the animals they are helping to conserve.”

Jessica added: “We couldn’t afford not to have it. The fees for the platform are extremely competitive given its capacity and capabilities. Even though we are a physical visitor attraction, we need to be digitally engaged and this gives us the best of both worlds.”

Although still fresh, the advantages that have come from implementing the project have been impressive, to the extent that the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, within which AWCP is still housed, are also now looking at the platform.