Banham Zoo has announced the departure of some of its exotic animals.

The Norfolk attraction has revealed that its two camels, Lucy and Sopwith, have been moved to a site in Surrey.

Officials say the animals' enclosure had become unsuitable and that it was in their best interest to be relocated.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Banham Zoo is located in south NorfolkBanham Zoo is located in south Norfolk (Image: Brittany Woodman)

The move comes at a time when the zoo is trying to increase its focus on native species from the British Isles, although it has always stressed this policy would not mean a reduction in its collection of exotic animals.

It also comes shortly after a period of significant upheaval at the zoo, which announced job losses in December and the closure of some long-standing attractions.

Graeme Williamson, head of living collections for the zoo's parent company the Zoological Society of East Anglia, said: "Moving animals between zoos is a complex decision that involves balancing various factors, including the animals' welfare, conservation goals and behavioural needs."

Thetford & Brandon Times: The sea lion attraction was removed last yearThe sea lion attraction was removed last year (Image: Antony Kelly)The two camels have been taken to their new home at Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park and Zoo.

Their Banham enclosure will have a makeover before half term, when it will become home to some water buffalo from Watatunga Wildlife Reserve, near King's Lynn.

Last December, a number of major changes were announced, including job cuts which saw 10pc of staff lose their jobs and the resignation of the chief executive.

The company said that “relentless” cost increases had led to the job cuts, with “significant savings” required to keep the parks open.

Thetford & Brandon Times: A female red panda is due to arrive at the zoo this springA female red panda is due to arrive at the zoo this spring (Image: Banham Zoo)

The Birds of the World show and the sea lion attraction were also removed with more than 60pc of the team behind their shows having lost their jobs.

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The decision was met with criticism by visitors to the park who started an online petition urging management to reconsider its decision. 

Last month, however, Banham Zoo announced a list of new arrivals, including three pied tamarins, a female margay, a female Asian small-clawed otter, a female black and white ruffed lemur and a Victoria crown pigeon.

A female red panda and a female snow leopard are also due to arrive later this spring.