Sussex is home to award-winning Drusillas Park where over a hundred different animal species live in naturalistic environments.
It’s widely regarded as the best small zoo in Europe, and as well as being a lovely day out, they have some really special experiences which could be just the thing to inspire your little ones…
Most of Sussex was horrified when a fire swept through farmland a couple of weeks ago, spreading like, well, wildfire after weeks and weeks of hot, dry weather.
And caught up in the middle was the county’s beloved Drusillas, complete with its meerkats and bats, all facing danger. Thankfully a swift and efficient evacuation response meant all the animals were safe and disaster was averted. Phew!
Now that things have settled back down again we thought it was a perfect time to look behind the scenes at some of the amazing activities the Zoo Park offers.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up? Archie here wants to be a zookeeper (this week) and although it may be some time before he needs to decide for real, he may just get his wish sooner than he thinks!
Drusillas already offers several Close Encounter animal experiences which allow you to get up close and personal with some furry and feathered friends including Lunch with the Lemurs and Penguin Feeding, or for braver budding zoologists, Snuggle up with a Snake or Tickle a Tarantula!.
Now to really push the boundaries, they are launching a new experience which opens up the experience to something rather larger. Participants can now book an ‘anteater encounter’ and feed not one but two of the gentle giants, and learn all about them. Oli and Diego are extremely popular with visitors, so our advice would be to get in there quick!
From £75, experiences are for 1-2 people and last 30-40 minutes.
A holiday club with a difference. Zoo Summer Club is running for two weeks this summer for children aged 6-10 and is supervised by Drusillas’ Head of Education James Woodward. The sessions are 10.30am-3.30pm and we’ve missed the July slot but if you look sharp, you could get in on the August one, which kicks off 6 August. The clubs are both fun and educational, with the chance to hold and stroke animals and learn about the zoo, with the added bonus of an hour’s play planned in. There will be a different topic covered every day such as Rainforests and Monkeys and Amazing Animals and Africa.
For more information on Zoo Summer Club, email the zoo on firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a real treat for any animal lover. Work alongside a Zookeeper for the day and learn how to feed, clean and care for a variety of animals, gaining a real insight into what the job entails.
There are Gold, Silver and Bronze price categories, all of which include a special Zoo Keeper for the Day sweatshirt or polo shirt, a hot lunch in the Explorers Cafe and a personalised Zoo Keeper for the Day certificate signed by the Zoo Manager.
If there weren’t already enough reasons to love Drusillas, they have just named local charity Rockinghorse as their Charity of the Year 2018 which means – amongst other paired initiatives – that every time Mulan, the red panda is adopted, 20% of the proceeds will go to Rockinghorse.
1. The giant anteater grows up to 7ft in length
2. Its sticky tongue can shoot in and out of its snout over 150 times a minute
3. Despite their size, they feast on ants and termites (although we’re talking around 35,000 a day)
In case you missed the drama, take a look at the fire here.
Fifteen hundred people have been evacuated from Drusillas Zoo Park because of a crop fire at #Alfriston. Fifty-eight acres of barley, wheat and straw has been destroyed, along with a tractor worth £60,000. Video from Dan Jessup. pic.twitter.com/4J8IIxmhVi
— BBC Sussex (@BBCSussex) July 25, 2018