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Banham Zoo and Africa Alive launch Christmas grotto to raise awareness for bird conservation

A zoo has launched its annual Christmas grotto, with a focus on protecting native birds.

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), which runs Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, will host an immersive festive experience at the two attractions, featuring three Christmas-themed activities, while guests explore a magical wonderland-themed grotto.

Conservation Christmas elves will teach children about the importance of protecting native species and help them to create their very own Christmas bird feeder wreath, before taking them to meet Father Christmas for a special gift.

Claudia Roberts joint managing director of Banham Zoo.
Claudia Roberts joint managing director of Banham Zoo.

The idea behind the grotto is to raise awareness of the plight of birds, while raising vital funds to support ZSEA’s conservation initiatives throughout the energy crisis.

Claudia Roberts (pictured), CEO at ZSEA, said: “The plight of birds has never been more topical, with the recent outbreak of avian influenza across the UK.

“Our animals are at the forefront of everything we do and, while we are taking preventative action to keep our birds safe, we want the public to get involved and consider what they can do to help the birds in their own gardens and local parks.

“Sadly, a lot of the essential measures we’ve taken to protect our birds, including installation of foot mats around our sites and additional netting in enclosures, come at significant cost to our charity. This has created a perfect storm when combined with rising energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis.

“This year’s grottos will inspire a love for birds in children and families, with every ticket purchased helping us to continue our vital work saving endangered species.”

Tickets to ZSEA’s Christmas grottos are available for select dates throughout December, with weekend slots still available. Walk-ins are welcome, and each grotto ticket also includes all-day entry to the zoo.

Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, which is in Kessingland, provide days out and activities for families all year round, reinvesting funds in conservation efforts since they were first founded more than 50 years ago.

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