picture of Squirrel monkeys with Dear Zoo climbing frame at ZSL London Zoo

Dear Zoo book-inspired fun for London Zoo's lions and squirrel monkeys

Lizz Banks
Authored by Lizz Banks
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 21:22

Dear Zoo...  

Squirrel monkeys and Asiatic lions receive literary-inspired presents at ZSL London Zoo 

ZSL London Zoo's keepers brought children's literary classic Dear Zoo to life for their animals ahead of the book's 40th anniversary celebrations, taking place at the world-famous attraction this Easter holidays.   

Asiatic lions Bhanu and Arya woke up to find a new Dear Zoo-themed scratching box in their Land of the Lions home - scented with their favourite spices, cardamom and ginger, and designed to look like the famous travel crate from the beloved children’s story - while the Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys found their replica crate transformed into a colourful new climbing frame. 

picture of Asiatic lion Bhanu with Dear Zoo crate at ZSL London Zoo ZSL London Zoo’s head zookeeper, Dan Simmonds, said: “We’re counting down to the Dear Zoo 40th anniversary celebrations at London Zoo this Easter, where Rod Campbell’s famous story will come alive for our visitors.  

“We didn’t want the animals to miss out on the fun activities we have planned to tell the Dear Zoo tale - which is, at its heart, a celebration of wildlife - so we took inspiration from the book’s beautiful illustrations to create some enriching activities for them too.” 

Author Rod Campbell’s much-loved tale of a child who writes to the zoo to ask for the pawfect pet has delighted readers for four decades; now children of all ages are invited to become part of the story in The Dear Zoo Experience - exploring which animals are too tall, too big, or too grumpy to join the family.   

picture of Asiatic lions Bhanu and Arya enjoy Dear Zoo crate at ZSL London Zoo Perfect for families looking for great days out with the kids this Easter, between Saturday 2 to Monday 18 April, little ones can settle down to enjoy lively readings of the Macmillan Children’s Books favourite during daily story-time sessions at the world-famous Zoo; the book’s animals will then leap off the page as visitors embark on a new trail across the Zoo, taking in the real-life species behind the story - including inquisitive monkeys, lofty camels, roaring lions and tall giraffes.   

Dan added: “Asiatic lioness Arya loved rubbing her neck on the scented crate, while the squirrel monkeys leapt all over their new climbing frame, searching for hidden treats; they had so much fun and we can’t wait for our visitors to experience London Zoo’s Dear Zoo-themed activities for themselves over the Easter holidays.” 

  A great value day out for families this Easter, all The Dear Zoo Experience activities are included in the entry price - book your tickets online now at www.zsl.org/london-zoo    

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