Keeper Experience

Now’s your chance to get up close and personal with the animals at The Living Rainforest


Have you ever wondered if monkeys really do like bananas or if sloths can eat upside-down? Book an experience with us today and find out the facts for yourself. Each of our experiences gives you the opportunity to shadow one of our knowledgeable keepers while they take care of the daily feeding and cleaning of our animals. Join in with the food preparation and learn all about the likes and dislikes of toucans and turacos, or pull on your wellies and help clean out the Goeldi enclosure! Our keepers will accompany you into each enclosure so you will get the opportunity for some unbeatable pictures with your favourite animals while you serve out the afternoon feeds.

Zoo-keeping is not for the faint hearted, but if you’re feeling extra brave why not help our keepers with the snake feeds, or catch up some crickets for the water dragons? If that’s not quite your cup of tea, then take life a little slower and meet Cinnamon the sloth, or seek out some of our beautiful turacos to give them their fruit salad. Our unique Junior Experiences will give children the chance to get involved as well, with opportunities to meet the monkeys, feed the frogs or clean out the cockroaches! Your experience will include the company of one of our keepers, ready to answer all your questions and introduce you to the animals, behind the scenes access, and exclusive entry into the enclosures.

All of the proceeds from our Keeper Experiences go directly towards enclosure redevelopment so you can help us to make a real difference for the animals.


adopt-freshwater-stingrayKeeper Experience (Adult or Junior) – Tailor make your own experience by choosing the animals you’d like to meet and the amount of time you’d like to spend with us. Our most popular animals include the monkeys, birds, and stingrays but we are happy to consider any requests. If you would like to include some of our off show animals such as geckos, frogs and invertebrates then please let us know. All Junior Experiences (under 14) include one free accompanying adult.

Prices for bookings made after January 1st 2015

2015 prices One person Two people  
One hour £45 £80
Two hours £70 £120
Three hours £95 £160

Animals it might be possible to include on Keeper Experiences (subject to availability)

adopt-pygmy-marmosetGoeldi’s monkeys, Pygmy marmosets, Azara’s agoutis, Armadillo, Toucans, Free range birds (Roulrouls, Turacos, Ducks, Curassow), Snakes, Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles, Lizards (chameleon, geckos, water dragons, anoles), Frogs, Stingrays, Aquarium fish, Invertebrates (spiders, scorpions, butterflies, stick insects, beetles, cockroaches).

‘Sloth experiences’

adopt-two-toed-slothWe do not run dedicated ‘sloth experiences’ because our sloth is free range and therefore may not be accessible on the day of your experience. If for example, she positioned herself at the top of the glasshouses we would have no way to access her until she chose to come down, and this may take up to a week! Please also note that interactions with the sloth are strictly limited to observations of the keeper while feeding and running through her training routine. There is no physical contact from members of the public allowed, due to the fact that sloths are classed as dangerous animals. What we suggest you do instead, is book one of our tailor made experiences, choosing other species that you would like to include and if the sloth is accessible, we will include her as a priority. If she is not, then you still have plenty to do on the experience and have not had a wasted trip.

Number of people per booking

adopt-red-billed-toucanWe can only take a maximum of two adults or two juniors and one adult into any enclosure at one time. Unfortunately, we simply do not have the space available to increase this and we strongly feel that the smaller your group, the better your experience. If you absolutely cannot reduce the size of your group, what we can offer instead is the opportunity to swap people part way through the experience. However, we would not be able to revisit any enclosure twice as the animals can only be fed once. There is an additional charge of £10 per extra person per hour for this.

Please note the following restrictions may apply:

  • Specific animal interactions cannot be guaranteed. We reserve the right to restrict access to any animal if we feel it is necessary on the grounds of health and safety. Animals may not be included in your experience if they are on medication, breeding, or showing signs of stress or aggression.
  • Any persons who are ill on the day of their experience may be asked to reschedule for another day. Many illnesses are transferable from humans to animals and we cannot allow anyone into the enclosures if we feel they may put the animals at risk.
  • You will be accompanied by a keeper at all times and receive a health and safety briefing on arrival. Any adult or child failing to follow keeper instructions and compromising their own safety or the welfare of any animal will be asked to leave immediately and their experience will not be refunded or rescheduled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact us

All Keeper Experiences are booked by the Animal Department and it is easiest to contact us via email as we are often away from the telephone due to the nature of our work. If you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone, then please leave us your name and number and let us know what time of day is best to call you back.

Email –

Telephone – 01635 202444 extension 206 (9am – 5.30pm, seven days a week)


“We just wanted to drop you a line to say how great Darcey’s Keeper Experience was, she has talked of nothing else since! The keeper she was assisting was wonderful, friendly, bubbly and passionate about the animals, and Darcey just loved this about her. Best of all she explained everything to Darcey at just the right level, Darcey wants to be just like her when she grows up! We definitely feel this experience was value for money, it exceeded our expectations and we will be booking another one at a later date.  You were very efficient in arranging this, understanding our requirements and explaining any limitations, this was great.”

Karen, Simon and Darcey T. (age 6)

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