Banham Zoo trainer to spend 48 hours in vulture aviary to raise awareness of animal’s plight

Peter McLaren, an animal trainer and presenter at Banham Zoo, is to spend 48 hours in a vulture aviary for charity. ANL-160824-155141001
Peter McLaren, an animal trainer and presenter at Banham Zoo, is to spend 48 hours in a vulture aviary for charity. ANL-160824-155141001
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It’s a fairly safe bet that you won’t be spending next weekend like Banham Zoo’s Peter McLaren, as he attempts to raise awareness and much-needed funds for vulture conservation.

The animal trainer and presenter at the zoo, who lives in Attleborough is set to spend 48 hours in an aviary full of vultures for 48 hours. Mr McLaren, a Banham Zoo employee of seven years, is passionate about the animal despite their negative perception of being ugly, dirty and dangerous by many.

He will enter the aviary at the 2.30pm Bird of Prey display on Friday, September 2, where he will stay, sleeping in a simple hammock at night.

He will be let out on Sunday, September 4, to coincide with International Vulture Awareness Day.

Mr McLaren is aiming to raise £2,000.

“A world without vultures is unthinkable, I think so, and I hope you will too,” he said.

“Please give generously and help me stop what was once a relatively common bird of prey from disappearing forever.”

He has decided to support the GYPS Restoration Project in Pakistan, a programme the south Norfolk zoo has supported for many years through its parent charity, the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA). It aims to assist one of the most critically endangered vulture species, the oriental white-backed vulture.

It is estimated that more than 99 per cent of its former populatio have died over the past 30 years. Recent estimates suggest there are only between 3,500 and 15,000 birds left in the wild.

If you would like to support Mr McLaren’s charity challenge, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/vulturechallenge
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