My ten year old daughter was taking part in IgniteZoo at Chester Zoo this week. This was an amazing opportunity for her! To be honest, it was a massive treat for me to visit the zoo and see the animals.
Chester Zoo is on the outskirts of Chester and is a very popular attraction as well as being involved in conservation and education. It has over 27,000 animals! Most recently, their new Asiatic lion enclosure opened which is a lot more spacious for the lions.
When our children were small we used to have annual tickets to the zoo. I would highly recommend the annual tickets as the zoo is such an amazing place with lots to see. The best time to visit is in the winter when it is less busy and you can see more. There are some inside enclosures if you need to shelter from the weather.
I know zoos don't always have a good press but from what I've seen, this zoo is concerned with animal welfare. Chester Zoo has the core values of conservation and this includes the local area as well as worldwide. Obviously to survive financially, there are commercial areas of the zoo but it is done sympathetically in accordance to the local exhibits and the core values such as fair trade coffee.
IgniteZoo is a conservation collaboration between the zoo, Ignite TSA and 45 local schools. It is about bringing conservation into schools, sparking off imaginations and awareness of the issues both local and worldwide. After one such visit, my daughter told me that what I had bought may not have sustainable palm oil in.
I think it is fantastic that children are being educated in such a fun and interactive way. The information is being shared to others and leaves a long lasting impression.
My husband and I were pleased that our daughter, Kat was interested in the zoo and taking part in the IgniteZoo day. To be honest, I was shocked that she was willing to give a talk in public. Her mission was to do a short presentation about jaguars. They had been to the zoo, researched the subject, made a leaflet, composed the presentation and stayed after school to practice.
Kat didn't want me to see her and told me to see the meerkats instead. However, we went to the zoo as early as we could see the meerkats first. The meerkats were so active and enjoying the bright sun. We had a fantastic time seeing as many animals that we could in the short time. (My watch said I had walked over 6 miles there.)
We met the teachers and children at the learning centre and then went to watch the choir perform. The choir included children from quite a few schools and the performance was amazing. We then went to the jaguar house to watch the talk. Unfortunately it was hard to hear them as it was very noisy. However, they carried on like professionals and did the talk three times.
It was such a pleasure to be in the jaguar house for so long. We saw the two jaguars together and then the male went off to eat.
Kat wanted to go back to school straight away so she could tell her friends. I was disapointed as felt our trip was cut short. We all loved our visit to Chester Zoo and want to go back again soon.