Drusillas Park, near Alfriston East Sussex, invited local children to share their favourite stories with the animals at the zoo, in celebration of World Book Day.
The sloths enjoyed Harry Potter, lemurs learnt about The Hungry Caterpillar, meerkats were treated to Tyrannosaurus Drip, and beavers listened to Rumble in the Jungle.
Donning their World Book Day fancy dress costumes the children were invited to accompany keepers into the enclosures with a book of their choosing, to read aloud to animal residents. In addition to encouraging children to practice reading, the exercise forms part of the zoo’s animal enrichment programmes, introducing new and interesting things to explore to keep their minds stimulated.
Rufus Campbell (7), dressed in a dinosaur onesie, had meerkats clambering on his lap to listen to him reading Tyrannosaurus Drip, whilst his younger brother Dylan (4), wore his cat costume to read Tabby McTat to Coco the donkey in the Park’s farmyard.
Ella Farley (6) dressed as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter to read the beavers Rumble in the Jungle, and her brother Angus (4) dressed as Willy Wonka to read The Hungry Caterpillar to Augustus the capybara, and together they read to the Park’s group of inquisitive lemurs.
Gilbert Poland (6) showed off his favourite Avengers book to cheeky armadillos Patsy and Eddie, and his brother Hector (9) dressed in full Gryffindor attire and matching wand, read from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban as a special bedtime story for the park’s new baby sloth, Athena, and mum Halina.
Managing Director, Ollie Smith, commented: “We pride ourselves in our educational offerings at Drusillas, from our school sessions and open days to the many educational
interactives along our zoo route – our focus is always on having fun whilst learning and it’s lovely to encourage children to find the fun in reading. We know many schools challenge children to take photos reading in an unusual place, so we invited some children in to do just that!”
Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk