A PRIMATE habitat on the Isle of Wight heralds a new era of animal rescue in the UK, and is iconic in its look too.

The Wildheart Trust is set to open its latest rescue facility at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in Sandown on May 28.

The newly-designed and built structure will house multiple species of primates the sanctuary aims to rehome over the coming years as regulations on keeping primates are tightened up.

Two gigantic bamboo domes, the first of their kind in Europe, are geodesic structures, forming a multilevel space for the inhabitants to thrive in.

The largest dome stands 12m tall and is constructed from 777 bamboo poles which laid end to end would stretch over 2km.

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There are bedrooms made from 102 bales of straw, with an insect friendly living roof and a self-cleaning living floor, which the animals can access 24hrs a day.

Isle of Wight County Press: Dome habitats at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary.Dome habitats at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary.

Over recent years, the sanctuary has rescued animals as diverse as lemurs to big cats, most recently receiving two African servals that were discovered with broken and malformed bones in a house in France, part of the illegal pet trade.

New dome habitats at Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

Lawrence Bates, chief operating officer at The Wildheart Sanctuary, said: “This is a landmark building for us and the Isle of Wight, marrying up the latest cutting-edge technologies with traditional materials to produce a futuristic yet environmentally friendly rescue space.

"Many visitors have likened this structure to the Eden project and I would certainly agree this is one of the most iconic structures in the South."

Marc Fox, animal manager, said: “I stop and stand in awe in the middle of the giant domed habitat, feeling both proud and excited that we have managed to produce this show-stopping spectacle.

"I have visited a lot of primate habitats over the years and can honestly and confidently say this exceeds all my expectations. The sheer size and design of the domes themselves means we can develop and evolve a real habitat within, which can offer the inhabitants the ability to express their natural behaviours and have the space and complexity to feel safe, enriched and comfortable for the rest of their lives.”