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Elephant and giraffe feeding returns to Colchester Zoo

PUBLISHED: 17:12 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:12 26 June 2020

Colchester Zoo is now able to let families feed their elephants and giraffes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Colchester Zoo is now able to let families feed their elephants and giraffes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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You can now feed elephants and giraffes straight from your hand at Colchester Zoo again.

Feeding the elephants was one of the zoos most popular events before it was forced to close by coronavirus Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFeeding the elephants was one of the zoos most popular events before it was forced to close by coronavirus Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

When the zoo first reopened on June 18, almost all the animal experiences visitors loved had been paused to help keep the public at a safe social distance.

Regular fixtures such as keeper feeding times were scrapped and walk-in enclosures to meet tamarins and lemurs were closed.

Now, in a bid to boost the zoo’s operational fun, the popular public elephant and giraffe feeding times are back with new strict social distancing and hygiene rules.

MORE: All you need to know before you go back to Colchester Zoo

A group of up to five people can feed the giraffes at Colchester Zoo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA group of up to five people can feed the giraffes at Colchester Zoo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A group can now feed the beautiful animals in an “exclusive behind-the-scenes” experience.

How can I book a slot?

The experience can be booked on the Colchester Zoo website and will cost a group of up to five people £20 to feed either the elephants or giraffes.

The zoo says that multiple groups will be taking part at the same time, so staff will be on hand to assist with social distancing. A limited number of slots will be available each day.

MORE: Zoo losing thousands in revenue as passholders book tickets and don’t turn up

What do I do on the day?

You can visit the zoo as usual, arriving in your designated time slot. Bring your printed animal feeding experience tickets from home.

During your visit, make sure you are at the meeting point listed on your ticket (either the Elephant Kingdon or Kingdom of the Wild) at least 10 minutes before the time slot you booked.

A keeper will then greet you and take you to a private area to feed the animals by hand.

In a statement on the zoo website, it says: “Two of our most popular activities for our visitors has always been the opportunity to hand feed our giraffes and elephants at free public feed encounters during the day.

“We appreciate your understanding as to why these cannot proceed at the current time and know that visitors are therefore not receiving the full Colchester Zoo experience.

“It isn’t just our visitors that are missing this opportunity, our elephants and giraffes are too as they enjoy this ‘routine’.

“During our closure our keepers continued this ‘routine’ to a certain degree but now you are back we would like to offer you the opportunity to feed the giraffes and elephants during a short private experience whilst also supporting the Zoo’s Operating Fund.”


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