REMEMBER remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot! But fireworks are not the only thing to remember in the build up to bonfire; make sure you take care to look after animals, both in the garden and in your home.

As there will be no big gatherings this year, many of us will be marking bonfire night with fireworks in our gardens. As such, Zookeepers at Drusillas want to share some important advice for keeping your pets and garden wildlife safe.

The majority of animals find fireworks scary. Unlike humans, they aren’t able to tell where the loud bangs are coming from or what is causing them. Both pets and wild animals are very frightened by these intense noises and it is important to be mindful of animals when taking part in bonfire celebrations.

Sue Woodgate, Zoo Business Manager at Drusillas Park, said: “We never let off any fireworks at Drusillas – it’s just too unsettling for the animals. Luckily, we are in a very rural location, so we don’t have to worry too much about the loud noises of other people’s displays. But we do always ask anyone who is having fireworks close by to please respect our animals and keep displays to a minimum.”

“If you have animals there are a number of ways you can protect them both in the build up to bonfire and on bonfire night itself. We advise shutting small animals away

and putting a blanket partly over their cage to muffle sounds and give them somewhere safe to hide from loud bangs. You can also close your windows and curtains to help animals feel more settled at home.”

Drusillas Zookeepers also advise playing music or have the television on slightly louder to help dull the sound of fireworks.

Sue Woodgate, Zoo Business Manager at Drusillas Park, said: “We also want to make people aware of the risk posed to wildlife by having garden bonfires and firework displays. It’s not just your pets you need to be looking out for. Log piles, leaves and stacks of wood are ideal places for animals such as hedgehogs, mice, toads and frogs to crawl into, so please check, check and check again that there are no small creatures nestled in your bonfire before you set it alight.”

“It is also important to be mindful of our other wildlife, such as badgers, foxes, birds, rabbits and more. They will all be very frightened by the loud bangs of fireworks, so please if you are having a display in the garden, keep it to a minimum. Or favour things that can be safely handled without distressing animals, such as sparklers.”

It’s easy to enjoy firework night and still be mindful of the animals surrounding you. Drusillas urges anyone having a garden bonfire night celebration to please consider the advice given above.