A new food outlet has opened its doors at Colchester Zoo after a devastating fire destroyed the former venue more than three years ago. 

Back in July 2020 one of zoo's catering outlets located next to Sea Lion habitat, Playa Patagonia, suffered extensive damage due to a fire. 

Luckily, no one was harmed, and the fire was contained quickly.

The zoo’s financial recovery took longer than hoped as the pandemic limited the earnings through visitors which delayed the refurbishment works to the site. 

Now the zoo has announced the new venue is open and offers a selection of different snacks and treats alongside hot and cold drinks. 

A spokesman for the zoo said: "In 2020, one of our food outlets, Coffee Shop, located next to our Sea Lion habitat, Playa Patagonia, suffered extensive damage due to a fire within the outlet.

"After the slow financial recovery from the Pandemic of Covid-19, we are now delighted to announce that we have been able to develop the old shop into a new catering facility called Beach Hut!

"Pop by on your next visit and enjoy selection of different snacks and treats along with hot and cold drinks."

Social media users have shown their excitement after the Maldon Road attraction announced the opening on their Facebook page, with many looking forward to it on their next trip. 

At the beginning of the month, the zoo celebrated the return of two male Goeldi monkeys after their journey from Zoo Neuwied in Germany. 

Back in their new home in Colchester, the Worlds Apart habitat, the brothers Pedro and Pascal have adjusted to the new environment well.