London Zoo to open new Animal Adventure Zone
- Credit: Archant
Eighteen months after a fire destroyed its Animal Adventure area, ZSL’s Fundraising Director James Wren looks ahead to the opening of a new attraction at the Regent’s Park landmark, where children can play and get up close to wildlife
Summer is here, the school holidays are almost upon us and it's the perfect time to encourage your children to connect with wildlife.
It's vital to introduce children to nature at an early age - with 60 per cent of us now living in urban environments, having a strong connection to wildlife and the environment has never been more important.
At ZSL, it's one of our core tenets and an area where we believe we're making a big impact - the earlier we can develop this understanding and concern for nature in the next generation, the better equipped they will be to look after the world's wildlife as they grow into adults.
This is why ZSL supports youngsters of all ages in learning about wildlife, from pre-school to professor: from the thousands of school groups we welcome every year for interactive, National Curriculum-linked learning experiences, to the unparalleled academic opportunities we provide for our MSc students at ZSL's world-renowned Institute of Zoology.
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And at the heart of it all is London Zoo, where children can come every day to be inspired by wildlife.
This month, (July 31) ZSL London Zoo is launching its new Animal Adventure zone with exactly this in mind: a new children's play experience at the heart of the Zoo, where kids will be able to delve into the secret and surprising lives of animals and follow some of nature's most epic journeys - encountering meerkats, porcupines, eagle owls, mongoose, coatis and more along the way.
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Capturing little ones' imaginations, child-sized hot air balloons and a replica HMS Beagle (Darwin's famous boat) will 'transport' them to animal kingdoms around the world, connecting youngsters to animals through magical up-close experiences and adventurous play.
Kids will follow in Darwin's daring footsteps - navigating swinging bridges, slides and ladders aboard HMS Beagle in the Zoo's new adventure themed playpark.
Little ones can climb like a coati on the mini climbing wall, or soar like a macaw through the treetop rope course, before hitching an ocean ride with a dolphin on the animal-themed sit-on springers.
A new open-air amphitheatre will give families the chance to hear fascinating daily talks, where zookeepers will reveal how llamas trek across the Andes, and why young meerkats have to set out on their own to find a mate.
Young animal adventurers will be able to spot the Zoo's resident pygmy goats, kune kune pigs, llamas and donkeys as they are regularly walked around Animal Adventure, with plenty of opportunities to meet ZSL's expert keepers and get the inside story on their work.
A watery Splash Zone will keep globetrotters cool in the summer sunshine, while parents relax outside the new café, where they can keep a watchful eye on junior explorers as they play and learn.
It's the perfect time to bring little ones to have fun in the sun in a safe, local environment, while forming a connection to nature that will last a lifetime.
Working together we can all make a difference - to find out how to support ZSL, including the benefits of a ZSL membership, visit zsl.org