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Drusillas Experiences - About Your Day!

Taking part in a Drusillas Experience? Take a minute to find out what to expect from the day and what you'll need to prepare!

Health and Safety

All animals naturally carry a range of microorganisms, some of which can be transmitted to humans where they may cause ill health. Animals also have the potential to cause harm through biting, scratching and their physical presence. Therefore, it is essential that those taking part in VIP Experiences closely follow the instructions given. Behind the scenes at Drusillas there are other work activities being carried out which may present a risk if these guidelines are not followed.

  • We strongly advise that anyone taking part in an animal encounter has an up-to-date tetanus vaccination. Tetanus is a serious infection that can be transmitted by animals. Should you wish to take part without up-to-date tetanus immunisation, you will be asked to complete a form to confirm you understand the potential risks involved.
  • Cover existing cuts and abrasions on exposed skin with waterproof dressings and the disposable gloves provided.
  • Smoking, eating or drinking is only allowed in the designated rest areas.
  • Do not eat any of the food intended for the animals.
  • Hands should be washed at every opportunity, especially before eating, drinking or smoking and before leaving Drusillas.
  • Always use the disposable gloves provided when instructed.
  • During the day you should avoid putting you face close to the animals, placing your fingers in your mouth or kissing the animals.
  • You should remain in close contact with the Zoo Keeper who you are working with, and not wander off.
  • You must not enter an animal enclosure without specific instruction from the Zoo Keeper..
  • All participants are ultimately responsible for their own safety and all their personal belongings, including all equipment carried with them.
  • Please be advised that any close contact with an animal can present a health and safety risk. Drusillas will mitigate such risk with appropriate measures such as selection of animal and keeper support, however please be advised that injuries can be sustained when participating in animal experiences.
  • In the unlikely event that an injury does occur, our staff are well trained to manage the situation and will seek first aid assistance from our qualified first aiders
  • Any accident or injury should be reported to the Zoo Keeper immediately so that appropriate action can be taken and first aid provided.
  • In the event of an emergency, you should follow the instructions of the Zoo Keeper. If you become separated leave the area by the nearest emergency exit and make your way to the assembly point in the car park.
  • The welfare of the animals in our care is our top priority and our expert keepers reserve the right to make adjustments to the experience or postpone should they deem it necessary.

What to wear on the day

  • Clothing - Something comfortable, and something you are happy to potentially get dirty! We recommend jeans or shorts, t-shirt, jumper, and jacket, and waterproofs should the weather look wet.
  • Footwear - Trainers, walking boots, or wellington boots. No high heels or opened toed shoes please.
  • Jewellery - Please keep any jewellery to a minimum. Please do not wear dangling earrings, studs are OK.
  • Hair - Please tie long hair back.

About your experience

  • You are welcome to spend all day in the Park from our opening time of 10am, and enjoy our other attractions either side of your experience time
  • Please meet your Keeper at the Visitor Services Office (located to the right of the main entrance) promptly at the beginning of your experience time. Unfortunately, late arrivals will result in a shorter experience.
  • At the start of your experience your Keeper will explain any health and safety rules that apply when working with animals and answer any questions you may have.
  • Our Keepers love talking about our animals, so please ask any questions you may have during your experience
  • You'll have opportunity to get some great photos of our animals from within their enclosure on the day, so make sure you remember your camera!
  • Most of our animals do not enjoy being stroked or touched, and none of our animals like being cuddled or held. Your keeper will guide you on whether it is safe to have contact during your experience.
  • All animal encounters take place during our animals' usual feeding times, so being active and approaching for food is routine for them at this time of day. Whilst we always strive to give participants the best experience, all of our encounters are led by our animals who are given free choice to participate. Much like humans, on occasion our animals may not wish to participate or interact.

If you have any questions or require any further details, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01323 874100.

All VIP Experience bookings are subject to our Animal Experience Terms and Conditions.

What to Expect: Keeper for the Day

Keeper for the Day experiences run from 10am - 3.30pm

A typical day looks a little like this:

  • 10:00 – Meet your Keeper, collect your Keeper uniform, and health and safety briefing
  • 10:30 – Feed and clean our meerkats
  • 11:00 – Feed our mongooses, armadillos, prairie dogs and penguins
  • 11:40 – Clean and feed our capybaras
  • 12:00 – Feed our otters, sloths, bats, and monkeys
  • 12:30 – Lunch (free meal and drink for participant)
  • 13:30 – Feed our mice
  • 14.00 – Meet and handle our reptiles
  • 15.00 – Feed our lorikeets and lemurs

Please note this is an example itinerary and we cannot guarantee which specific animals you will meet on the day. Plan is subject to change depending on availability on the day, but you will make lots of new animal friends!

Accompanying Guests

Keeper for the Day Only

  • Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
  • We offer one free accompanying adult with participants aged under 16
  • The free entry place cannot be transferred to any other person if the supervising adult is a Drusillas Annual Member
  • Participants with disabilities should be accompanied by a carer if they require one. Free carer entry is included upon production of DLA/PIP/ESA/AA evidence or Access Card with +1 symbol. 
  • Up to four additional, non participating guests may accompany the Keeper for the Day at a discounted rate of £25 per person. Please contact us to book.

Close Encounters Only

  • Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Accompanying adults will need to purchase a valid Day Ticket
  • Additional non-participating guests require a valid Day Ticket
  • We offer 20% discount on our gate price for tickets pre-booked online up to midnight the day before