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Think about some alternative gifts this Christmas

8th November 2018

Categories: Latest News

If you are looking for a Christmas gift with a difference then Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project have the answer with a host of memorable animal experiences and ideas.

Everyone loves penguins and there is a great opportunity to meet and greet the Zoo’s thriving colony of more than 50 of them.

Meet and Greet the penguins costs £75, and involves a personal talk by one of the keepers, a chance to go behind the scenes of Seal and Penguin Coast and come face to face with these iconic animals.

For people who dream of working in a Zoo there is the Keeper for a Day experience which includes visits to animals across the 12-acre site. These include penguins, golden headed tamarins and more.

The Keeper for a Day package, which costs £250, includes lunch in the Hide café restaurant and a Zoo fleece and baseball cap. It is the perfect present for anyone over 16 who wants to know what it is like to be a zoo keeper.

For younger people, aged from six to 15, there is the Junior Keeper Experience at £125. This includes a one-to-one session with a Junior Keeper host as well as feeding and looking after the animals.

Everyone who completes the two-hour Junior Keeper Experience receives a special T-shirt and activity book.

There is also the chance to meet and greet one of the Zoo’s best loved animals – Biggie, the giant tortoise.

He has lived at the Zoo for almost 43 years and always wanders across to meet whoever steps into the enclosure he shares with his fellow giant tortoises. The giant tortoise meet and greet costs £69.

There is also a range of other exciting animal experiences at the Zoo’s sister site, Wild Place Project.

Among them is the opportunity to get really close to the cheetahs, the fastest land animals on the planet.

During the Cheetah Experience, which costs £50, people can prepare the cheetah’s feed before watching them hunt and collect their food from just a few inches away.

Or there is the Gelada Experience and the chance to go behind the scenes and see these extraordinary animals close-up.

Wild Place Project, like the Zoo, also offers Keeper for the Day and Junior Keeper Experience.

These days include behind-the-scenes visits to zebra, okapi, wolves, red river hogs, lemurs, cheetahs and giraffe.

Keeper for the Day costs £150 for one person or £250 for two and Junior Keeper Experience is £75.

There is also a Christmas gift that will last years and leave a mark at Wild Place Project’s exciting new £5m exhibit, Bear Wood.

It’s called Sponsor-a-Plank where for £75 people can have an engraved stainless steel plaque on the raised walkway which will guide people through the trees to see bears, lynx, wolverine and wolves. It is a unique way to wish someone Happy Christmas.

Bristol Zoo also offers the opportunity to adopt a range of different animals including Afia, the baby gorilla, Ketan, the Asiatic lion, Poppy, the penguin and Lady Hilary, the red panda.

Animal adoptions cost £50 and everyone who adopts an animal receives a special pack containing two tickets to the Zoo, a cuddly toy, an adoption certificate, and a fact-file about the animal.

And there are lots of animal related stocking fillers in the shops at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project.

There is a collection of pocket-sized cuddly toys of animals including lions, red pandas and meerkats at £5.99 each as well as Zoo animal mugs at £8.99 and a hand-sized cuddly pink flamingo at £4.99 and an inflatable flamingo drinks’ holder for £1.99.

And for a finishing touch there are bars of hand-made Zoo chocolate at £3.50.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the Zoo but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

Bristol Zoo Alternative Christmas Gifts

Penguins Meet and Greet £75

Giant Tortoise Meet and Greet £75

Keeper for the Day £250

Junior Keeper for the Day £125

Wild Place Project Alternative Christmas Gifts

Cheetah Experience £50

Gelada Experience £50

Keeper for the Day £150 for one person or £250 for two

Junior Keeper for the Day £75

Stocking fillers

Pocket-sized cuddly toys £5.99 or £10 for two

Zoo animal mugs £8.99

Hand-sized cuddly flamingo £4.99

Inflatable flamingo drinks holder £1.99

Bristol Zoo chocolate £3.50

For full details of all animal experiences, adoptions and more information at Bear Wood please go to and

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