Animals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have had a colossal surprise this week, when evidence of a 'dinosaur invasion' appeared in their enclosures.
Summer visitors to the UK’s largest Zoo will soon be transported to Zoorassic Park, a prehistoric world where they will come face-to-face with immense, moving and roaring dinosaurs, and zookeepers were keen that the animals did not miss out on the fun.
Primate keepers built a ‘dinosaur nest’, containing replica dinosaur eggs, on the squirrel monkeys’ island home, for the ever-curious monkeys to investigate.
Meanwhile, penguin keepers dug a huge, T-rex footprint next to the penguin pool for the Zoo’s Northern rockhoppers to waddle around.
Primates Team leader, Hayley Jakeman said: “Providing our animals, especially curious, playful creatures like monkeys, with plenty of new things to explore and investigate is a really important part of our job.
“Our troop of squirrel monkeys were fascinated by the dinosaur nest they discovered on their island, and they seemed to have a lot of fun pushing the eggs around and trying to carry them off for private investigation.
"I’m not sure the rockhopper penguins knew what to make off the T-Rex footprint, but one or two of them seemed quite entertained by the new addition to their poolside habitat - poking, smelling, and nudging stones around it with their beaks for quite a while! One penguin even seemed to think it might make a good nest!
“Now the animals have had their chance to be palaeontologists, it’s over to our younger visitors, who will hopefully love having the chance to search for prehistoric evidence, dig for dinosaur bones and discover the towering beasts for themselves at Zoorassic Park, when it opens on Saturday (24 July).”
Best known for its own colossal beasts that graze enormous enclosures, like the Zoo’s two herds of prehistoric looking rhinoceroses, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is home to over 10,000 amazing animals, including Amur tigers, spritely squirrel monkeys and adorable otters.
Proudly helping to protect threatened species, Whipsnade has contributed to reintroductions of extinct-in-the-wild species, such as the Przewalski horse and the Scimitar Horned Oryx, and through their entry fee, every visitor is contributing to ZSL’s worldwide conservation work for animals and their habitats.
Tickets for Zoorassic Park can be booked now at www.zsl.org.