A DAY OUT AT ZSL LONDON ZOO
I was lucky enough to attend London Zoo on Saturday 26th May for the day and be given access to all that it offers. This was the first time in many years since I was a child that I remember going so to say I was looking forward to it was an understatement.
Now the Zoo prides itself on its initiatives and its teaching. Attempting to educate both children and Adults. Its current theme lends itself to Children with its Superheroes and Villains theme which is running until 3rd June.
ZSL London Zoo is inviting everyone to be superheroes this May half-term, with a wild new adventure for the whole family to enjoy: Superheroes and Villains.
As part of ZSL’s 2018 Superhero Takeover, from Saturday 26th May – Sunday 3rd June, kids will be able to dust off their capes and join ZSL’s own justice league of vets, keepers and scientists in their epic battle against three of Earth’s toughest enemies: plastic, poaching and climate change.
WHAM! Help the zookeepers defend against the Illegal Wildlife Trade by searching suitcases at our special Customs Control Centre – on the hunt for smuggled animals and the products illegally made from them.
WHOOSH! Work with ZSL’s vets to see just how much plastic in our seas is being swallowed by turtles, fish and other marine life – polluting our waters and endangering animals’ lives.
ZOOM! Join forces with ZSL’s scientists to investigate how climate change is affecting animals like African hunting dogs – by learning how to fit them with high-tech tracking collars and reading the data they collect.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT BASE… Young caped crusaders can team up with ZSL’s very own superhero Captain Z to bravely venture into the lair of his arch-nemesis Plastico, a fiendish villain made powerful by the mountains of discarded plastic being dumped into our oceans.
Dare to enter Plastico’s Lair, a dastardly den made entirely of single-use water bottles discarded in London. Step inside this plastic fortress to learn about taking the #OneLess pledge and other small but vital changes visitors can make to help save the world’s wildlife.
After being educated on this further myself and being astounded at some of the information you receive it does make you stop and think about your contribution to pollution and in this case plastic, and what you can do differently to aid the cause and play your part in a better future.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic event – book online now by CLICKING HERE and of course afterwards you are free to enjoy the rest of the zoo at your leisure!
So we did..the wife and I then toured the rest of the zoo at our own pace for the next 4 -5 hours.
Having not really recalled my last visit it was interesting even as a 35 year old to see the huge range of animals on display. Our first port of call was the Penguins, because who doesn’t love penguins. We arrived midway through one of the daily talks and feeding sessions, which were there to inform us of the Humboldt Penguins they have on Penguin Beach. Cute and diving around, shaking off the water as they come out of the pool they were a beauty to watch and being able to get so close was a great factor.
A great thing also about some of the animals is that you can get in and walk through within their enclosures. This means they are free to roam around you and with this, you feel part of the environment. We were able to do this with the Butterflies, Monkeys and Lemurs.
The zoo is split up into many sections making it easy to see the animals you love and plan your route around. We went from Penguin Beach to Butterfly Paradise, where we walked through an inflatable caterpillar which features species of Butterfly and Moths from several major regions including Africa, South-east Asia and Central and South America. Be careful where you step through while walking through.
Other highlights were Land of the Lions – Three walkways cover the 2,500sqm exhibit with thrilling, immersive Indian-themed areas to explore – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut. Keep an eye out for the three Lions roaming this area and Meet the Monkeys The walk-through is open to the skies of the capital with no boundaries between the animals and our visitors! You can be centimetres away and see them jump over your head or walk past you or go up close for a photo. This urban eco-safari has been designed so that it will develop and mimic the forests of Bolivia, the plants have specifically been chosen for their scent and fruits that will provide enrichment to the animals.
There is honestly so much to see in this zoo so whatever your favourite animal is you will find it. Other areas to visit are:
Into Africa – Into Africa offers the opportunity to come eye to eye with some of Africa’s most unusual animals. Giraffes, zebras, okapis, warthogs and African hunting dogs all feature in this exciting exhibit. We managed to catch the giraffes just before they went back into what I’ll describe as their barn. There is something great about seeing these animals up close, a beauty in fact of the animals they are – and this goes for a lot more across the zoo. It’s not every day you get to enjoy this experience.
If Lions are your thing then you will like Tiger Territory and Gorilla Kingdom. Visitors to Tiger Territory will embark on a journey through an Indonesian habitat, coming face-to-face with beautiful tigers through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The exhibit has been designed with ZSL’s team of tiger keepers, conservationists and experts to ensure that it perfectly suits the big cats’ needs.
Tigers are excellent climbers and like to observe their terrain from a towering vantage point and Tiger Territory allows them to do just that. The exhibit features tall trees for the cats to scale and high feeding poles to encourage their natural predatory behaviours.
When you step into Gorilla Kingdom this atmospheric exhibit, you’ll first be able to explore the African aviary before moving on into the Gorilla Kingdom. This natural and engaging environment is home to London Zoo’s gorillas, featuring a stunning clearing, their own personal island, and an indoor gymnasium.
The colony of gorillas is led by an impressive male silverback – Kumbuka. In 2014, Kumbuka parented his first offspring with mate Mjukuu: a baby girl named Alika, which means ‘most beautiful’. In 2015 Kumbuka’s second offspring, a male called Gernot, was born. The group is completed by females Effie and Zaire. Large viewing areas and an engaging habitat means you’ll have the very best vantage point for seeing this special family.
Want to monkey around some more? Venture further into this exhibit and discover more primates, including our families of white-naped mangabeys and white colobus monkeys. There are loads for you to encounter and share in this truly wild exhibit!
As mentioned previously there are many other areas to visit and after a few slushies, a trip to the Zoo Shop it was closing time and so we had to make our way out, however we did so with great memories.
For an Adults Only Experience then this summer we have Zoo Nights.
Zoo Nights, a series of live after hours events. Just for adults, this is a chance to explore the Zoo like never before.
As the sun goes down this summer, Zoo Nights will be up and running. Every Friday from 1st June to 21st July a festival of light will create an amazing backdrop for a trip to the Zoo like no other.
With no kids in sight, visitors can take in fun tours and talks with grown-up themes. Along the way, they’ll meet street entertainers and stilt walkers and you can also learn about conservation straight from our experts.
Street food vendors will offer exciting flavours from around the globe while pop up watering holes have everything from beer and wine to soft drinks.
This is an over 18s only event. Price includes entry only – drinks and food are a separate charge.