1. Sid and Scrat from Ice Age will switch on the spectacular Winter Wonderland Illuminations at Drusillas Park this year, when they visit the award-winning zoo for the first time ever on Saturday 30th November.

    The beloved duo will meet and greet visitors at intervals throughout the day before switching on the lights during a grand ceremony at 4.30pm, marking the official start to Drusillas Park’s Christmas Winter Wonderland 2013.

    Sid and Scrat are sure to feel right at home as the spectacular Illuminations are set within an ice-capped kingdom and feature an animal themed light show synchronised to music. Young revellers can see a host of magical creatures within the dazzling display, adding some extra sparkle to the festive season from 4.30pm each day, from Saturday 30th November until Sunday 5th January.

    Also making his first appearance of the year on 30th November, Father Christmas will make a welcome return to the zoo. Visit his cosy Christmas Cottage and have your picture taken in his sleigh; for a small additional charge children can meet Santa and receive an early Christmas gift.  Plus visitors can also Hug a Husky on selected dates, or enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

    Located just off the A27, Drusillas Park is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily, with the exception of 24th, 25th and 26th December.  For further information and dates for Santa’s Christmas Cottage and Hug a Husky events please telephone (01323) 874100 or visit the website at www.drusillas.co.uk

  2. Drusillas Park takes in Giant Spider Found in Shipping Container from Asia.

    A giant stowaway spider that travelled from Taiwan to St Leonards On Sea in a shipping container has been rehomed to Drusillas Park following an RSPCA rescue.

    The large huntsman gave staff working at the Seventies BMX parts company on Moorhurst Road the fright of their life when they discovered it lurking in a shipment from Asia on Monday 4 November. Warehouse Manager, Joe Woodburn was unloading the boxes when his colleague spotted the seven-inch arachnid.

    He said: “My mate saw it on the box I was holding. He froze and couldn’t get his words out fast enough. It was as big as of the palm of my hand. We managed to get it into a big plastic container where we kept it while we called the RSPCA. I thought it was plastic at first as it wasn’t moving, but the minute it was in the sunlight it started to warm up and was running around and jumping up the side of the box. We get containers like this all the time and we have always joked that one day we’d open one up to find some kind of ferocious animal in there but I never expected to find a spider as big as this.”

    The huntsman spider was collected by the RSPCA on the same day before being delivered to its new home at Drusillas Park, near Alfriston on Thursday 7 November.

    Spider expert, Angela Hale from Drusillas Park commented: “I am really excited to have this fantastic creature in our care; it’s not everyday that a spider this big is brought to us. Giant huntsman spiders are found all over the tropics and have exceptionally long legs that spread out to the side and this is why they are sometimes called crab spiders. They are not dangerous or aggressive but can move extremely fast if disturbed. I am sure it would have given the guys in the warehouse a bit of a fright when they found it.”

    RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley, who delivered the spider to Drusillas Park, commented that he wasn’t surprised that the spider had survived despite being locked in the shipping container for six weeks while it made its way from Taiwan to St Leonards On Sea.

    “Spiders can survive a long time without food and water. The cold is going to be the main problem for them but it probably survived the journey because the weather has been fairly mild,” he said. 

  3. Funusual Gift Ideas for Animal Lovers this Christmas!

    As the festive season swings into action and parents up and down the country puzzle as to what to place under the tree for their little monkeys, we may have the answer to stop you going completely crackers this Christmas!

    The Drusillas Keeper for the Day scheme is a unique treat for anyone who is mad about animals. Working side by side with one of the zoo team for a whole day, you can get nose to nose with nature with the opportunity to feed, clean and care for a variety of furry and feathered friends.

    image

    Or how about our Close Encounters experiences, which provide an excellent opportunity to meet some of the zoo’s most popular residents. You can have lunch with the lemurs, meet the meerkats, have tea with the racoons or beavers, or feed the penguins. There is also the chance to snuggle up to a snake or tickle a tarantula!

    Alternatively, the annual adoption scheme allows children to learn about the importance of animal welfare, without all the costs and responsibilities associated with owning a pet. All of the animals here at Drusillas are available for adoption and the income generated helps support the zoo’s ongoing animal care and conservation programmes. Adopters receive a photo, a certificate signed by a Zoo Director, a plaque on or near the animal’s enclosure and a complimentary ticket to visit the new member of the family. 

    If you want even more animal fun all year round, Drusillas Club Membership may be just the ticket. This offers access to the Zoo, Playland and unlimited rides on the Thomas & Friends™ train for 362 days of the year. Gift Vouchers can also be purchased and redeemed against any one of the Drusillas Park experiences. Visit us at www.drusillas.co.uk to find your perfect Christmas gift!

  4. Check out the Drusillas Red Pandas as they get into the spirit of things by eating their Bam-BOO. Happy Halloween everyone! 

  5. BamBOO treats for our Red Pandas!

    This week our pair of red pandas, Mulan and Tibao received a seasonal surprise when zoo keepers presented them with a frightful feast of BamBOO, marking the start of Shriek Week at the zoo.

    The bamboo was inserted into the top of jack-o-lanterns providing a hairy looking Halloween feast. Not knowing whether it was a trick or treat, the pandas approached the seasonal surprise with caution before nibbling their way through the tasty tuck.

    Tibao and Mulan were introduced at Drusillas Park earlier this year as part of the European breeding programme and it is hoped they will have a family of their own in due course.  In the wild these mild mannered creatures inhabit the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. They live on their own or in small family groups and live almost entirely on bamboo.

    Due to their seasonal nature, pumpkins are not often enjoyed by the residents of the zoo. Nevertheless, they make an ideal animal snack as they are a great source of potassium, Vitamin A and are also high in fibre. The seeds are rich in minerals, essential fats, protein and are a good source of zinc, providing a delicious and nutritious nibble. However, the pandas were only really interested in their beloved bamboo!!

    Come along to our Halloween Shriek Week between Saturday 26th October and Sunday 3rd November - check out the website for all the spooky goings on at Drusillas this Halloween!! www.drusillas.co.uk

  6. Everybody check out our new Halloween video in preparation for Drusillas Shriek Week. It will be sure to have your spine-tingling and your knees wobbling! Enjoy 

  7. Scooby-Doo at Drusillas!

Masked villains better beware this Halloween as the crime cracking canine, Scooby-Doo, bounds in for some monster fun at Drusillas Park on Wednesday 30th October.
Part of the international spook solving team Mystery Inc. Scooby-Doo always brings a tail of excitement wherever he goes.
With a nose for adventure, Scooby-Doo will be investigating at the Events Arena at various intervals throughout the day adding to another paw-fect day at Drusillas. Come and investigate with the cowardly hero but don’t forget the Scooby snacks!
The guest appearance will take part during the zoo’s Halloween Shriek Week, which promises some spook-tacular fun between Saturday 26th October and Sunday 3rd November.
 In addition to this exciting character appearance of Scooby-Doo, visitors can venture through the creepy corridors of Haunted Heights, into the terror-tory of witch sisters, Hocus and Pocus as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public. Plus there’s oodles of other eerie events and seasonal surprises to keep your little horrors half term happy. 

    Scooby-Doo at Drusillas!

    Masked villains better beware this Halloween as the crime cracking canine, Scooby-Doo, bounds in for some monster fun at Drusillas Park on Wednesday 30th October.

    Part of the international spook solving team Mystery Inc. Scooby-Doo always brings a tail of excitement wherever he goes.

    With a nose for adventure, Scooby-Doo will be investigating at the Events Arena at various intervals throughout the day adding to another paw-fect day at Drusillas. Come and investigate with the cowardly hero but don’t forget the Scooby snacks!

    The guest appearance will take part during the zoo’s Halloween Shriek Week, which promises some spook-tacular fun between Saturday 26th October and Sunday 3rd November.

     In addition to this exciting character appearance of Scooby-Doo, visitors can venture through the creepy corridors of Haunted Heights, into the terror-tory of witch sisters, Hocus and Pocus as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public. Plus there’s oodles of other eerie events and seasonal surprises to keep your little horrors half term happy. 

  8. Geoffrey the Giraffe and Nellie the Elephant start to make room for a slightly smaller, Kitty! Make sure you still keep your eyes peeled as they have been located elsewhere in the park…it shouldn’t be too difficult should it? ;) 

  9. Drusillas Park Zoo Keeper Jodie Dryden gives her thoughts on the critically endangered Sulawesi Black Crested Macaques at Drusillas Park

  10. As Halloween approaches, keepers at Drusillas Park have noticed an increase in the number of strange and eerie calls at night as they carry out their evening checks. The noises appear to be coming from the direction of Lemurland where the zoo’s popular ring-tailed lemurs reside.
The scientific name for ring-tailed lemurs is lemur catta meaning ghost cat in latin. The species earned this name due to their ability to move stealthily through the trees in almost deathly silence as well as their wide staring eyes which give them a somewhat spooky demeanour. The lemurs are also cat-like in size and appearance, with white angular ears.
However lemurs are not always quiet; they have a complex and distinct array of vocalisations including wailing, cackling and shrieking. Their mysterious howl is audible up to half a mile away and it is this noise that has been causing the keepers quite a fright.  
Zoo Keeper, Jodie Dryden commented: “The lemurs tend to howl at the end of the day and they seem particularly vocal at the moment; the sound can be quite menacing especially at night when the Park is closed. The evenings are drawing in now and the lemurs have made me jump on several occasions whilst carrying out my evening checks. I think they just do it to scare me but I can definitely see why they are named ghost cats.”
However, this is not the only unusual happenings taking place at the Park this month. Visitors can also enjoy lots of eerie events during Shriek Week from 26th October to 3rd November.

    As Halloween approaches, keepers at Drusillas Park have noticed an increase in the number of strange and eerie calls at night as they carry out their evening checks. The noises appear to be coming from the direction of Lemurland where the zoo’s popular ring-tailed lemurs reside.

    The scientific name for ring-tailed lemurs is lemur catta meaning ghost cat in latin. The species earned this name due to their ability to move stealthily through the trees in almost deathly silence as well as their wide staring eyes which give them a somewhat spooky demeanour. The lemurs are also cat-like in size and appearance, with white angular ears.

    However lemurs are not always quiet; they have a complex and distinct array of vocalisations including wailing, cackling and shrieking. Their mysterious howl is audible up to half a mile away and it is this noise that has been causing the keepers quite a fright.  

    Zoo Keeper, Jodie Dryden commented: “The lemurs tend to howl at the end of the day and they seem particularly vocal at the moment; the sound can be quite menacing especially at night when the Park is closed. The evenings are drawing in now and the lemurs have made me jump on several occasions whilst carrying out my evening checks. I think they just do it to scare me but I can definitely see why they are named ghost cats.”

    However, this is not the only unusual happenings taking place at the Park this month. Visitors can also enjoy lots of eerie events during Shriek Week from 26th October to 3rd November.