Twycross ZooAddress

Burton Road Atherstone Warwickshire CV9 3PX

Website

https://twycrosszoo.org

Size of the Zoo

Twycross Zoo is set on 32ha (80 acres) of land.

History

In 1954 Molly Badham and Nathalie Evans set up the Hints Zoological Society on a 0.3ha (0.75 acre) site at Hints in Staffordshire. After outgrowing this site, they brought the old rectory in the Village of Norton Juxta Twycross. The rectory had become a private residence and they brought it for £12,000 in 1962. The 4.85 ha (12-acre) site was turned into a zoo by the pair.

On Sunday 26th May 1963, the Twycross Zoo was opened by Jean Morton from Tinga and Tucker, a children’s puppet show.

The zoo was incorporated as the East Midland Zoological Society in 1972.

In 2005 the tropical house, which is home to a variety of South American species opened.

In September 2007, the Himalayas visitor centre was opened. This was created with a $3 million grant from the East Midlands Development Agency.

In 2016 the zoo opened a new Gibbon forest habitat at a cost of £2million.

Number of Animals

Twycross Zoo houses almost 500 individual vertebrate animals which represent over 150 species. Their invertebrate collection adds hundreds of individuals to this total.

Attractions

The Jungle Soft Play Area

This soft play area is themed like a jungle and allows kids to let off some steam as part of a zoo visit or it is accessible to the public without zoo entry.

Wet and Wild Play Area

Cool off with a play in Twycross Zoo’s splash zone.

Star Animals

PG Tips Chimps

The zoo was the home of the PG Tips chimps that starred in ads from 1956 to 2002. These chimps dressed in clothes and performed human activities while their voices were lip-synced. They would carry pianos down stairs and pour tea. Only one chimp from this group remained at the zoo at the beginning of 2014

Main Exhibits

Explorer Zone

This zone’s major feature is Pets @ Twycross where common pet species such as west African pygmy goats, alpacas, minature donkeys, rats, ferrets, sheep, tortoises and snakes can be seen.

Nearby is Butterfly Forest. Visitors walk through the habitat amongst birds and butterflies with exhibits along the way featuring butterfly chrysalis and a range of other insects such as giant millipedes and stick insects.

Life in the Trees

Twycross displays their world-renowned primate collection in life in the trees. Here you can see spider monkeys, langurs and more. It is also where the zoo’s orangutan habitat is located. Non-primate species such as otters, parrots and kangaroos live in this zone.

The gibbon forest habitat which opened in 2016 is also housed here. On display are siamangs, agile, white-cheeked and pileated gibbons. It features a 2-storey high house where you can view the gibbons indoors as well as several outdoor islands.

Kingdom of the Apes

In Kingdom of the Apes you can see the other 3 species of ape, the gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo. Twycross is one of the only zoos in the world where you can all four species of ape. Other species in the kingdom are hyenas, dholes, nyala and monkeys.

A lorikeet walkthrough allows you to enter the enclosure and watch these colourful parrots or offer them some nectar.

A walk-in lemur encounter allows you to enter the habitat of the ring tailed and black and white ruffed lemurs.

Conservation Way

Conservation Way introduces you to endangered species which the zoo is breeding such as Amur leopards. An ‘African Plain’ houses zebras and a nearby exhibit has meerkats.

Wet & Wild

Here you can see a range of the zoo’s birds which love the water. A group of Humboldt penguins participate in a daily parade. Meanwhile groups of flamingos, cranes and pelicans are on show.

Other species housed here include capybaras, tapirs, yellow-throated martens, bush dogs, prairie dogs and coatis.

Elephant Creek

Elephant creek houses the herd of elephants which live at Twycross Zoo. They enjoy a large grassy paddock as their home. Nearby a group of giraffe can be seen as can tortoises, monkeys, dik dik, sloths and owls.

Himalaya

This area is the zoo’s gift shop and restaurant. The main feature are windows which overlook snow leopard habitat.