Animals get into the Christmas spirit at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Christmas has come early for some of the animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens as keepers gave out presents and stockings filled with tasty treats.

The Zoo’s red panda and meerkats enjoyed fresh vegetables and meal worms while the troop of gorillas enjoyed a Christmas tree decorated with leeks, peppers, root vegetables and lettuce.

Meanwhile, the tree kangaroos Kitawa and Kiri were given an edible wreath made of willow and pine cones.

In the aquarium, keepers created a tree-shaped feeding station offering lettuce and sliced red peppers to get fish into the festive spirit.

Head of Animal Collections, Nigel Simpson, said: “As well as being great fun and festive decorations, the stockings and presents are also a great form of enrichment, helping to keep the animals interested and active because they have to hunt and forage for their food, making dinner time a little bit more exciting.”

We have re-opened for the Christmas season, and a huge, decorated Christmas tree takes pride of place on the Top Terrace.

As well as offering a festive day out in the fresh air, we're offering a host of Christmas gift ideas for animal lovers or the person who has everything.

A number of different animals are available to adopt, from mighty Western lowland gorilla, Jock, to Shifumi the red panda or Ivy, one of our ever-alert meerkats.

Adoption packages cost £50 and include an admission ticket, animal fact file, adoption certificate, cuddly toy and the recipient’s name displayed at the animal exhibit.

For people who want to give a gift that lasts all year, our annual membership offers unlimited entry for 12 months, with prices from £33. One-off admission tickets can also be bought, for use at any time in the coming year.

To find out more, or to buy a gift online, visit bristolzoo.org.uk/visitor-information/gift-vouchers

Gift purchases contribute to the cost of running Bristol Zoo Gardens as well as Bristol Zoological Society’s conservation work across four continents.

Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project, launched an appeal last May to help ensure the future of its work ‘saving wildlife together’.

The Society, which is a registered charity, launched the BZS Appeal following the temporary closure of both its sites in Bristol in the face of the Covd-19 pandemic. To find out more about the appeal, or to make a donation, visit bristolzoo.org.uk/bzsappeal.

Please note that indoor animal houses and walk-through enclosures are currently closed as part of Covid-19 tier three restrictions - visit our updates page to find out more.

Now faced with a third closure, the BZS Appeal is more important than ever


Now faced with a third closure, the BZS Appeal is more important than ever