This Summer the Beans were invited for a special day out at Twycross Zoo. The boys were to be the very first children to take a drive on the wild side in Twycross Zoo’s latest attraction, their new Safari Cars, which opened on Saturday 4th August.
NEW Safari Cars Adventure
The Safari Cars are situated in the Explorer Zone behind the Butterfly House. The children drive the Safari Cars around the off-road track past the Aviary, which plays home to endangered parrots, pelicans and owls. The Safari experience will also take them past the petting zone where they can wave to Kevin the Donkey, the goats and the sheep.
When the boys took their Safari Cars out for a spin they were the talk of the track with children watching them longingly asking their parents “can we have a go?” it’s definitely the kind of thing that children dream of. Albie was still talking about it whilst we were away camping last week.
The attraction, which will be open all year round, is aimed at children aged three to seven years old. There are ten specially designed mini off-road vehicles and each car seats two children. The cost is £10 for two children and includes 15 minutes of driving.
Karen Clarke, Chief Operations Officer, commented: ‘Our new Safari Cars attraction is designed to give little ones a real sense of adventure. In addition, we have also included some pit stops along the route, to make it more interactive for parents, so they can take photos of their little ones on safari and capture some memories.”
Not wanting Lillie to be left out, she was invited to take part in an afternoon Penguin Feeding session. We made our way over to Guest Services where we were escorted to the Penguin enclosure ready for the fun to begin. Lillie was given some gloves and a bowl whilst receiving instructions on how to feed the penguins. Once the gates were opened the Humboldt Penguins came shuffling out and immediately began to tap the bottom of the bowls with their beaks. Lillie said it was really funny and she loved that the penguins were standing on her feet to get closer to the food. She amazed me that she was happy to pick up the dead fish (I’m guessing the gloves helped). Even the boys got in on the action, Albie had to wait until the penguins were back in their enclosure and then was invited to throw the fish over the wall.
Once the feeding session was finished, we returned to Guest Services where each of the children was presented with a Certificate to say that they had fed the Penguins and the group received a small plush penguin toy to remember their experience.
Being entertained by the Bonobos
There was no way that whilst we were visiting Twycross Zoo we would stop at just the Safari Cars and the Penguins, oh no, we had the rest of the zoo to explore and the children were adamant we were starting with the Bonobos since they had entertained us so much on our last visit. They certainly didn’t fail us this time either, the babies were just as cheeky and mischievous as before, chasing each other, teasing the adults, touching the glass where the children placed their hands.
The most memorable time for us though was when I placed my phone on the glass in selfie mode and set the video rolling, one of the Bonobo females was quite intrigued by the camera as you can see from this little clip. If you watch to the end she even gives you a quick smile. You might want to watch with the sound off so you don’t have to listen to the running commentary from the children.
Shortly after we arrived in the Asian Elephants house a number of keepers came in so we stopped to watch what they were doing. They kept the Mum busy with some food and lead the baby Elephant into a separate area. It was so interesting to watch the keepers interact with her as the used a touch stick to bring her close to the walls and then instructing her to place her foot through the opening so that they could clean it and administer an injection (or take blood it was hard to tell). The mother and baby will soon be moving to Blackpool Zoo so they need to get the baby prepared for being placed in a large container for moving. It will be a shame to see them go but we need to remember that Twycross Zoo is part of a breeding programme to try to save endangered animals such as the Asian Elephants. You can read all about their move to Blackpool Zoo to enable natural breeding with bull elephant in the Keeper Diaries. I wonder what might come into the zoo to replace them?
A lazy day in Chimpanzee Eden
After hearing all about my fun meeting with Flynn the Chimpanzee on my last visit to the Zoo, the children were eager to go into Chimpanzee Eden but the chimps were having a very lazy day just chilling in their bunks and grooming each other. It was such a hot day but their enclosure has air conditioning so luckily for them they didn’t have to worry about the heat.
Red Heads Visit for FREE!!
There’s one thing you can always guarantee when you visit Twycross Zoo and that’s that you are going to have a great day. There is so much to see and do and the animals are just beautiful. For a long time I didn’t visit zoos because I felt the animals didn’t look happy or appear to be healthy but zoos like Twycross Zoo have changed that. You can see that the animal’s health and welfare is their top priority, they work with some of the top animal welfare specialists in the world to help protect endangered species.
Why not pop along and see for yourself? This Saturday, if you happen to have flaming red locks like the Orangutans then you will be granted free entry to celebrate World Orangutan Day.
To see all of these photos from our day and more, head over to our Facebook page.
If you’ve captured great photographs from your Summer holiday antics then pop over to Earth Based Fun and check out their Canvas Champ giveaway to win a 10×8 print of your choice.