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A walk on the wild side at Paignton Zoo

Ashleigh Ridler from the Discover Animals team enjoyed a day out at the zoo last week and shares her experience here:

Located in Devon, Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions. It’s a place to roam, discover and get in touch with your inner animal. With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a wild time at Paignton Zoo.

It was a sunny but brisk October morning in Devon as we made our way over to Paignton Zoo. A great way to spend the last full day of our South West holiday.

With no surprise, there were clear guidelines we had to follow when entering the zoo, but this didn’t take away from the enjoyment. The majority of the park is free-roaming and you’re not confined to a certain path, but some of the indoor enclosures and narrow walkways are one way only. Face coverings must be worn in the entrance, gift shop, restaurant and a number of the indoor enclosures, but are not compulsory when exploring the areas outdoor areas. 

It was still early morning when we started our journey, so it was breakfast time for a lot of the animals across the zoo, including the giraffe house and monkey heights. 

Giraffes at Paignton Zoo (Ashleigh Ridler / Discover Animals)

In Monkey House you’ll find the zoos Western lowland gorilla, which is classified as one of the world’s Critically Endangered species. You can find out more about the four male Western lowland gorillas, Pertinax, N’Dowe, Kivu and Kiondo, on the Paignton Zoo blog

By the time we got around to having a small bite to eat in one of the takeaway huts, the peacocks were wandering around and were happy to join us.

Peacock at Paignton Zoo (Ashleigh Ridler / Discover Animals)

Although some enclosures were closed off to the public, including the Desert House and Nocturnal House, the majority of the zoo was open, and we got to see most of the wide variety of animals across the different habitats. We saw the big cats lounging about in their huts and up trees, enjoying some of the morning sunshine, as well as the critically endangered black rhinoceros.

Cheetah at Paignton Zoo (Ashleigh Ridler / Discover Animals)

Over lunch, we got to watch the troop of baboons enjoy family time with some of their new additions, and had some face to face greetings with the zoo’s resident ostrich.

Ostrich at Paignton Zoo (Ashleigh Ridler / Discover Animals)

Great Big Brick Safari 

The Great Big Brick Safari in Paignton Zoo is home to over 80 giant wild animal models made from thousands of Lego bricks! From a majestic lion greeting you at the entrance to jumbo size elephants, giant gorillas and marvellous macaws leading you round the trail. These incredible Lego creations are dotted around the zoo and provide a great sightseeing activity for the whole family. 

The Great Big Brick Safari is included in your general admission ticket and will be running until 3rd January 2021 so get your cameras ready and head on over to Paignton Zoo today.

The Great Brick Safari (credit Paignton Zoo)

The Great Brick Safari (credit Paignton Zoo)

Extra Information

Please be aware that you must pre-book a time slot when you visit Paignton Zoo. As there are a limited number of guests allowed to enter the park, it is always best to book the tickets as soon as you can. Once you arrive you can take as much time as you want to explore the zoo. 

It’s always best to check the safety measures and up to date information before you go, which you can view on the Paignton Zoo website here

If you’re still unable to visit Paignton Zoo, you can still support and secure their future by donating. The money is helping to care for the animals through the winter season. More details and how to donate can be found on their website

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