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Animal Safety and Bonfire Night

Watch Out for Wildlife in the Build Up to Bonfire Night

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 wild and in your home.

With Halloween and bonfire night rapidly approaching, folks are starting to celebrate early and host firework parties and displays. Zookeepers at Drusillas noticed quite a few events advertised in early October and wanted to put out some advice for animal safety.

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 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 don’t 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 hosting a bonfire event close by to please respect our animals and keep displays to a minimum or move them elsewhere if possible.”

“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 advises playing music or have the television on slightly louder to help dull the sound of fireworks, and to make sure animals such as dogs and cats are kept in doors and have access to areas to hide in i.e. behind the sofa.

Sue Woodgate, Zoo Business Manager at Drusillas Park, said: “We also want to make people aware of the risk posed to wildlife by having 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, 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’s easy to enjoy fireworks night and still be mindful of the animals surrounding you. Drusillas urges anyone hosting a bonfire night celebration to please consider the advice given above.

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