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A Wild Ride

17 Mar 2021

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With many of the lockdown restrictions purported to be easing over the coming months one of the sectors most relieved will be Zoos and Wildlife Parks, who will be able to reopen from 12th April all going well.

Zoos and Wildlife Parks have borne a great burden during the pandemic, with visitor numbers eliminated and ticket sales at next to nil, much of the revenue relied on to feed the animals and pay for the specialist zoologists and staff that care for them has all but disappeared.

Our two nearest zoos at Twycross and Drayton Manor will need much help from the public if they are to continue to look after their animals and facilities.

The priciest animals...

We’re not talking about your average house cat or parakeet here, if you’ve ever taken a pet to the vet for something extraordinary you’ll appreciate how much investment of love and money it takes to keep animals, so imagine what the zoos are facing!

In general, the bigger the animal the more expensive. If we are talking about every single aspect, the most expensive would be the giant panda. China makes zoos pay millions per year for their leased pandas, they eat a ton of bamboo and they require very specific enclosures.

One that might surprise you are the smaller species of bat that live in giant flocks. Not only do they eat a lot, but they produce so much poop and amonia its a 24/7 job to keep enclosures clean.

In the wild a big cat can eat up to 45kg (7st) of meat and bone in one sitting. This is due to the fact that they’re not the best hunters and may not catch anything else for a number of days. In captivity with a sedentary lifestyle, you would expect a large cat to eat between 4kg - 8kg five times per week. That’s quite a shopping bill!

There are certain species of Asian langurs that are very picky eaters, so it can become costly to buy all of the special leaves they need to eat.

Hippos are known for being expensive. Not because they are very difficult animals to keep happy, not at all. Its the fact they poop so incredibly much that their bassins usually look like chocolate milk. Thats why the filters have to be on at all times and we aren’t talking about small aquarium filters, we are talking about building sized filters. in terms of upkeep, aside from food, who knew poop was such a costly factor!

In anticipation of the lifting of restrictions, why not plan your visit for after the 12th April. As always, please do keep up-to-date with all Government guidelines and restrictions in place, as ever, things can change fast and we must all do our bit!

In the meantime, you can help by:

Twycross Zoo
To make a donation visit:

Drayton Manor
Adopt an animal by emailing: or call 01827 252436.

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Burton on Trent
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01283 564608