So much to see at Bristol Zoo
So much to do and see
Bristol zoo has always played a big part in my life. From days out as a child, watching Johnny Morris on the TV, taking my own children and going on school trips. I have seen it grow and transform into the conservation and education that it is today. Situated on the outskirts of Bristol on the downs, the zoo has a calm atmosphere enhanced by the wonderful plants and well tended beds of flowers. Having said that there is plenty to do and see. Rangers at the zoo give well informed talks throughout the day and are willing to answer questions. There is the amazing animal show, the feeding of the seals and the gorillas, face painting, the lemur walk-through and so much more.
The amazing animals
The amazing animal show
On the main lawn every hour is the amazing animal show. The animals come on from behind a board coaxed out by food. The show is not forced, but the animals come out while a presenter talks about it. There was Rocky the raccoon, Archie the armadillo, Rio the Macaw and Collin the red ruff lemur. Rocky picked out raisins from a tree log, showing his natural behaviour and dexterity. Archie eventually scurried out to eat his food and wooed the crowd with his eagerness to eat. Rio, flew around the lawn showing his spectacular plumage. While Colin decided not to come out at the 1 pm show, but appeared at the 2pm show and showed his natural climbing and jumping behaviours, coaxed by food. This is what I liked about the show, the animals were in charge, They did what they wanted, nothing outside their natural behaviours, and the presenter allowed the show to go with the animal.
Grey Atlantic seals at Bristol Zoo
The Bond between the keepers and the seals
Feeding time with the seals
At 3pm the seals were being fed so we went along to see. When we got there the seals were already working the crowd. Attari, the big male seal was swimming around the pool infront of the gathering crowd. He proudly eyed the crowd and played with his two mates, Nina and Mary. Then he sensed something and made his way to a hidden door in the rocks and waited, not for long, as the 3 keepers arrived. Then Attari showed us what he could really do. Two keeper fed the seals while the third gave an informative talk about the seals. It was explained that the seals had been trained to do some rudimentary movements, not for entertainment, but so they could be examined, without the need to be anesthetized. The keepers used a target and a whistle so the seals could lift a flipper, open their mouths and lie out. Again the animals were in charge and only showed natural behaviors and were not forced. you could clearly see the bond between the keepers and animals. It was rather sweet, sorry if that sounds twee, but it was true.
Feeding and training the seals
If you want to visit the zoo, click the link
- Visiting the Zoo
Spend a fun-packed day with over 400 amazing species from lions to love beetles. With most of the exhibits under cover, you can enjoy your visit whatever the weather. Allow 2-5 hours for your visit.
Other things to do at Bristol Zoo
The explorer's Creek was our next stop. Outside was a children's play area and inside a humid area with plants exotic birds and a waterfall. At one end you could buy nectar and feed the lorikeets. With instruction from the staff, you held out the small pots and the birds would land on your arm and feed. It seemed very popular with families. We then went to see Jock, and his family of Lowland Gorillas. Unfortunately he had just been fed and like all males was having a doze, while the kids were squabbling. The scene seemed very familiar! We then went to listen to a talk about Kamala, the Asiatic lion. it was quite a shock to hear how endangered this animal is. There are only about 350 of this species of lion left in the world. As the ranger, who was giving the talk pointed out.'There were more people in the zoo that day, than Asiatic Lions in the whole world.' The ranger stayed and answered many questions from the crowd and spent a lot of time with the children. other high-lights of our day were the butterfly house, bug world, twilight world and the Meerkat talk.
A family of Meerkats
We were exhausted after our day out. There really was SO Much to do and see. We are planning another visit to see some of the things we missed. It has to be said that it was the best day out we have had for a long time and I can highly recommend Bristol zoo to anyone interested in animals. I learned so much. I also didn't know that the zoo runs so many events. There is an outside carol concert at Christmas, A bangless firework display in November and in the summer an outside musical event called 'Boogie for Brizzle'. They also run Keeper for the day, which seemed very popular and not too expensive.