1983: David Gill reveals his vision to open a wild animal park at his home.

1993: David Gill buys 14 acres of land off Broughton Road in Dalton.

1994: South Lakes Wild Animal Park opens to the public on May 27.

1996: The zoo attracts a record number of 100,000 visitors.

1996: The zoo features on Michaela Strachan's The Really Wild Show.

1997: Zimba the white rhino escapes from its compound and is shot and killed.

2000: David Gill buys land in Australia to open Mareeba Zoo.

2004: After just four years Mareeba Zoo in Australia is closed after regulatory breaches including one in which he was fined for chasing down a cheetah on a motorbike.

2007: Dalton zoo's reports record post-tax profits of £350,000.

2007: David Gill is attacked by love rival Richard Creary after the zoo boss started seeing Creary's estranged wife.

2008: The zoo is criticised by licensing officers over the escape of lemurs.

2013: The zoo is hit by tragedy with the death of zookeeper Sarah McClay.

2016: In June the zoo is fined after admitting safety failings relating to Miss McClay's death.

2016: Cumbria Zoo Company Limited is established to take over running of the zoo.

2017: Government announces it is considering an overhaul of zoo legislation and licensing.