Charity behind London and Whipsnade launches virtual week of activities to keep children entertained during locked down half term
The international conservation charity behind London and Whipsnade Zoos, ZSL, is calling on animal lovers to go #WildAtHome this February half term to keep Britain’s youngsters entertained and help raise vital funds while they remain closed to the public.
A packed week of events for children (and their parents!) to join in while a half-term zoo visit is off the cards – #WildatHome features virtual role play with the vets and keepers alongside at-home challenge events.
Kicking off the week is #VetsatHome, for youngsters missing out on their half term visit. Zookeepers and vets have turned their ever-popular Vets in Action events into brand new virtual sessions, exclusively for the February half term. Budding veterinarians will first learn how to triage their teddy bear using materials from around their home and can later tune into a live health check on one of Whipsnade Zoo’s rabbits, with vets and nurses talking through what they’re doing and why.
For those looking for a half-term activity, the zoos are calling on little ones to pick a #WildAtHome challenge, turning their daily exercise into fundraising. Zookeepers have come up with a list of animal inspired athletics to try, including leaping like a lemur, balancing like a flamingo or waddling like a penguin to help raise the much-needed funds to continue their care for the 20,000 animals at London and Whipsnade Zoos, and support ZSL’s conservation work around the world.
Grown up animal lovers are also encouraged to go #WildAtHome – for those looking to stretch their legs, a sponsored 2.5mile walk (equivalent to a stroll around the 600-acre Whipsnade Zoo) might be just the trick, or a 10k run (or prowl?) to match the distance a tiger has to travel in the wild to hunt for food are among some of the Zoos’ suggestions, while personal challenges are actively encouraged.
ZSL’s Fundraising and Engagement Director James Wren said, “While the kids are stuck at home and your regular Zoo visit has been postponed, we’ve come up with a way to keep everyone entertained by going #WildAtHome.
“From virtual role play to animal-inspired athletics we’ve got loads of ideas for things to do, while supporting a good cause.
“We can’t wait to see how people go #WildatHome and want everyone to share their challenges with us – the zoo’s shop is stocked with animal themed fancy dress, including tiger ears, tails or a giraffe cape – perfect attire for prowling like a tiger!
“We absolutely rely on visitor income to survive, and half term would normally see the zoos teeming with people but this year they’ll be empty. #WildAtHome will not only bring us closer to our visitors but provide us with much needed support.”
ZSL urgently needs to raise vital funds this half-term to support the Zoo while it is closed to the public. Visit ZSL.org/WildAtHome to find out more about #WildAtHome.