Belfast Zoo
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Visual and hearing impairments

Visual impairments

The zoo is a multi-sensory experience with an array of sounds and smells. 

For visitors with assistance dogs 

Only registered assistance dogs are allowed into the zoo, as stated in the regulations of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA). These regulations state that: 

  • all registered assistance dogs must be up to date with all inoculations. 
  • dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and under strict control. 
  • dogs must not be allowed to fowl anywhere in the zoo grounds. Any incidents should be cleared away by their owners. 
  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.

Please do not encourage your dog to look at the animals or lead them directly to the windows. This disturbs the zoo animals and can be stressful for them. Dogs are only allowed into the park to assist the visitor. 

Daily keeper talks 

Discover more about the animals we look after, the threats facing these endangered animals and the work of a modern zoo at the daily keeper talks. 


The ‘zoo-mobile’ is an accessible vehicle that can carry one wheelchair user and three non-wheelchair users or five non-wheelchair users. 

The vehicle is available to book online. Advance booking is advised. There are two options available: 

  • an inclusive tour or 
  • the hilltop drop-off service

Hearing impairments

Our visitor centre is fitted with an induction loop hearing system.

If you would like to use this, please advise a member of our staff and switch your hearing aid to T. 

A number of our zoo crew have completed deaf awareness training and will be happy to assist you during your visit. A member of staff trained in BSL skills is normally on duty.

Sign Video

This is a pilot scheme that will allow deaf people to independently communicate with hearing people via a British Sign Language interpreter in real time, on a video relay system.

The SignVideo facility will be available at our front desk, allowing the deaf community to easily communicate with our front of house staff, on a video relay system. Sign Video, will help to break down communication barriers and promote inclusion for everyone in the zoo admission process.

The pilot SignVideo scheme will run for a period of 12 months and Council will monitor uptake and gather feedback during that time.