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Visitors offered the chance to feed Paignton’s pride of lions

Visitors to Paignton Zoo will be able to get closer to their favourite animals than ever before with three brand new animal experiences, with the option to meet Paignton’s lions, sloths or kiwi – the only kiwi bird in the UK.

Paignton Zoo’s lion feeding experience is not for the faint-hearted, as people will be able to go behind the scenes of the lion enclosure and get to tong-feed siblings Boss, Semira and Amahle. As visitors will be able to come face-to-face with Paignton’s pride of African lions, this experience available for people aged 16 and over. 

The lion experience is available every Sunday and Tuesday, and costs £110 per person, which includes full entry to the zoo. An accompanying adult can also join them behind the scenes, to watch the lions being fed and to capture this special moment on film. This accompanying ticket costs £60 per person and does not include taking part in the feeding.

The sloth experience not only involves meeting with the expert keepers of Paignton’s Linne’s two-toed sloth to find out more about the species, but visitors will also be able to hand-feed them too.

This experience is suitable for people aged 10 and over, though under 16s will have to be accompanied by an adult. It is available every Sunday and Wednesday and costs £89 per person. This also includes full entry to the zoo.

Finally, Paignton is also introducing an exclusive experience to meet Manu, the only kiwi bird in the whole of the UK. For this offer, people will be able to visit the zoo before it opens to the public, learn about this amazing bird from his keepers and even feed him too. They will then be treated to a guided tour of the zoo – looking at what happens behind the scenes before Paignton opens for the day – and learning all about the amazing array of animals that call the zoo home. The experience will be rounded off with breakfast at Paignton Zoo’s Island Restaurant.

The kiwi experience is available on Tuesdays, and begins at 8:30am. It costs £225 and includes full entry to the zoo for people to explore at their own leisure. This package is not only special because Manu is the only kiwi in the UK, but because he is nocturnal, and therefore not often visible during normal zoo opening hours.

Lee-Ann Mugford, Paignton Zoo Commercial Sales Growth Manager, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be able to offer these three new experiences, just in time for Christmas. For animal lovers, they are a brilliant opportunity to meet their favourite animals up close and learn more about our work looking after different species here at Paignton Zoo.”

Alongside these three new experiences, Paignton Zoo also offers visitors the chance to meet many other animals up close, including two black rhinos and their Rothschild’s giraffes.

For more information about all of the experiences, and to book tickets, go to: