Flamingo Park opened on 28th June 1961 by Pentland Hick as The Yorkshire Zoological Gardens. In 1963 it was the first to display cetaceans in the UK followed closely by Marineland Morecambe. The original dolphin pool was a small figure of eight facility in the reptile house. As well as bottlenosed dolphins other whales were imported including a young white whale in 1964 and a young pilot whale in 1966. In 1965 Hick decided to float the zoo on the UK Stock Exchange and became Associated Pleasure Parks. The success for the pioneering dolphins exhibits was due to the insight of the zoo professional Reg Bloom who later was involved in similar developments at Windsor Safari Park, London Dolphinarium and Clacton Pier.