Visitors to Belfast Zoo got more than they bargained for yesterday as they came face to face with a baby dragon from the hit fantasy TV show Game of Thrones.
Fans of the show gathered around the enclosure to get a close up look at the incredible mechanical prop from the show.
Game of Thrones has become a global sensation in the past few years, being one of the most watched series by fans all over the world.
Many of the scenes from Game of Thrones are filmed in Belfast and the surrounding area and Tourism Ireland have taken advantage of the show’s popularity by organising various stunts to promote Northern Ireland to the world.
The baby dragon at the zoo follows dragon eggs at St George’s market and three-eyed ravens at City Hall.
Brian Twomey of Tourism Ireland explained to the Belfast Telegraph: “Well we’re in Belfast Zoo and it this is all a bit surreal because we have a dragon from Game of Thrones in the enclosure behind me and we’re surrounded by fans of the series and extras from the series so this is all a bit surreal but a lot of fun.
“Basically Tourism Ireland is running a global campaign that creates a link between the fantasy of the series and the reality of Northern Ireland as a visitor destination.
“The dragon is one of the stars of the show and we have brought it to Belfast Zoo for one day only to create social media content that then is used around the world as part of a campaign to encourage visitors to Northern Ireland.”
One excited fan said: “The detail is amazing on it, the fact that it moves, it’s just a pity we can’t see it fly!”
Tourism Ireland are right to try and make the most of the excitement surrounding Game of Thrones. It is thought that the show attracts thousands of visitors to Northern Ireland every year, with fans wanting to see where the show is filmed.