Drusillas Park, near Alfriston in East Sussex, invited local school children to share their favourite stories with the animals at the zoo in celebration of World Book Day.
While wearing their World Book Day fancy dress costumes, the pupils were invited to accompany keepers into the enclosures with a book of their choosing to read aloud to the animal residents.
In addition to encouraging children to practice reading, the exercise forms part of the zoo’s animal enrichment programmes which are said to introduce new and interesting things to explore to keep their minds stimulated.
“Our focus is always on having fun whilst learning and it’s lovely to encourage children to find the fun in reading.”
Ollie Smith, managing director at Drussilas Park
Rufus Campbell, aged seven and dressed in a dinosaur onesie, had meerkats clambering on his lap to listen to him reading Tyrannosaurus Drip, while Ella Farley, aged six, dressed as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter to read the beavers Rumble in the Jungle.
Six-year-old Gilbert Poland showed off his favourite Avengers book to armadillos Patsy and Eddie and Angus Campbell dressed as Willy Wonka to read The Hungry Caterpillar to Augustus the capybara.
Ollie Smith, managing director of Drusillas Park, said: “We pride ourselves in our educational offerings at Drusillas, from our school sessions and open days to the many educational interactives along our zoo route.
“Our focus is always on having fun whilst learning and it’s lovely to encourage children to find the fun in reading. We know many schools challenge children to take photos reading in an unusual place, so we invited some children in to do just that.”
Watch below how the children got on:
The zoo says education sessions are not only run by Drusillas experts but they also include creative teaching methods and hands-on experience with a variety of animals.
Learning sessions are accompanied by teacher packs containing background information, details of Drusillas animals and session outlines. The zoo can provide curriculum-linked sessions and resources for students from pre-school to BTEC and A-Level.
For more information about school trips to Drusillas Park, visit www.drusillas.co.uk.