Tian Tian
Tian Tian

Edinburgh Zoo has launched its first Mini Keeper experience. The perfect Christmas gift for the littlest adventurer in any family, the newest hands-on animal experience is for children aged between five and seven years.

The ‘mini keepers’ will get the chance to join the Zoo’s team of expert keepers during their morning duties, which include helping to make up morning feeds, thinking up with creative enrichment ideas for the animals and carrying out daily health checks.

Erika Oulton, Senior Presentations Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Our Junior Keeper experiences, for eight to 15 year olds, have been extremely popular and we have had a lot of requests for keeper experiences aimed at younger children. We have worked very hard to create the most exciting, hands on experience possible for this younger age range. Each Mini Keeper experience will be a little bit different, but will give younger ones the opportunity to get up close to some of our animals – such as wallabies, armadillos, cuscus, lizards and parrots. We hope that this exciting, interactive experience will inspire a whole new generation to become avid wildlife lovers and conservationists.”

The Mini Keeper experience will offer children their first chance to see behind the scenes at the Zoo and learn how the team of passionate keepers look after over 100 species of animals. Participants will get to meet Dillon the three-banded armadillo, a very special member of the Edinburgh Zoo family, Diloris the bearded dragon and some of the resident corn snakes. Also included are a variety of species of monkeys, who love to receive enrichment like as treats hidden in cardboard boxes.

The Mini Keeper experience is £100 and is available Saturday mornings at either 9am or 11am. The experience includes Zoo entry for one adult and one child. Participants will also receive a Mini Keeper certificate and animal mask to keep. The experience is available to buy and book now, however dates start from 1 March 2014.

Participants must have up to date tetanus shots and bring their own wellies to wear. Full terms and conditions are available online here or by calling 0131 314 0327 or emailinginfo@edinburghzoo.org.uk