Keepers at the London Zoo and the Whipsnade Zoo have launched a series of virtual bedtime stories to help keep young fans in touch with their favourite animals during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Their ‘Tails from the Zoo’ will be available to watch online on the zoos’ official social media pages each weekend from Saturday until February 21, Xinhua news agency reported.
They will read different animal-inspired stories, told from the zoos’ most popular exhibits.
Featuring children’s classics such as “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”, told in the company of Sumatran tigers Asim and Gaysha, animals will be at the heart of each storytelling session specially chosen to keep younger fans entertained through this lockdown.
The story line-up will also include newer favourites such as David Walliams’ “The Slightly Annoying Elephant”, read from Whipsnade Zoo’s Center for Elephant Care, and Tom Fletcher’s “There’s a Dragon in Your Book”, recited under the watchful eye of Ganas, the Komodo dragon at London Zoo.
Following the launch on Thursday, zookeeper Sam Aberdeen said: “We came up with the idea because lots of us have our own children who love to listen to our own tales from the zoo. It’s a tough time for the zoo at the moment – as it is for so many others – and this felt like a fun way to reach out to all the children we miss seeing here so much.
“We have loved doing it, and we hope children will enjoy hearing their favorite stories and seeing the real animals at the same time. And, of course, we hope it might spur people who can, to donate a little bit too to help secure the zoos’ future.”
James Wren, director of engagement at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said: “With our gates currently closed to the public — but life going on behind the scenes caring for our animals — the zookeepers have found a great way to bring our zoos to our youngest supporters, and hopefully give parents a little break at bedtime too!”
‘Tails from the Zoo’ will be shared via the Zoos’ Facebook pages, kicking off this Saturday, with Julia Donaldson’s “What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday”, read by zookeeper Nick Burnham and attentively listened to by Yoda the white-cheeked gibbon.