Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s fifth birthday celebrations

The leopard at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster
The leopard at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster

Everyone is invited to help celebrate Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s fifth birthday over May half term.

The award-winning park has an action-packed week of events planned where everybody can get into the party spirit.

The giraffe at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster

The giraffe at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster

There will be special prizes up for grabs, workshops, ranger talks, close-ups with exotic species and even the chance to join the lions for breakfast.

A spokesman for the park at Branton, near Doncaster, said: “The week marks the park’s amazing growth over five years into a much-loved attraction and a major force in the protection of endangered species from around the world.

“To celebrate, the 80-acre park will run a different theme every day as it joins with the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums for Love Your Wildlife Park Week.”

The park offers an opportunity to come face to face with amur leopards, painted hunting dogs, lions, giraffes, meerkats, wallabies, camels, giant anteaters, zebras and many more.

Activities start on Saturday and run to Saturday, May 31, and highlights include:

* Bank Holiday Monday: The park’s fifth anniversary celebrations. Staff will get the party started with craft and animal enrichment sessions in the wildlife discovery zone and there will be a chance to win some great prizes. Some of the animals will be getting birthday cakes specially made for them by their keepers too.

* Tuesday, May 27: Native species day. Visitors are invited on a mini-beast safari to see who is living in the ancient spring woodland. There will also be activities up at the Land of the Tiger walkway with the RSPB to see who is living in the wetlands next door to the Siberian tigers.

* Wednesday, May 28: Carnivore day. Get to the park early and you’ll have the chance to see the lions – The Pride of Yorkshire – enjoy their breakfast. There is also a chance to have lunch with the park’s biggest cat species, the endangered amur tigers.

* Thursday, May 29: Hoof stock. Take part in craft and enrichment sessions and see the giraffes enjoy their special lunchtime treats later in the day. There will be a special African plains talk to learn more about the animals in the plains enclosure, as well as a camel talk.

* Friday, May 30: Primates. Things may get a little bit messy as the primates arrive at the party, but there will also be sessions to learn more about why ‘environmental enrichment’ is important to them. During the day there will be a chance to observe the baboons using their interactive equipment inside the Monkey Play House and maybe even a chance to get involved.

Activities running all week include having your photo taken with life-size meerkat mascot, Chomp, and photo competitions with great prizes.

* For more information, visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park