A Night at the Zoo

African lions at Whipsnade Zoo after dark (c) Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo has released a series of incredible images revealing exactly what the animals get up to after dark.

The images, taken during the conservation Zoo’s overnight Lookout Lodge experience, show never-before-seen views of the Zoo after dark. Eager to see the nocturnal goings-on at the UK’s largest Zoo, ZSL’s photographer used a specialist night vision camera to reveal the animals’ behaviour, during the overnight guests’ exclusive nighttime tour.

Hannah Cole, Whipsnade Zoo’s Lookout Lodge Host said; ‘Whipsnade Zoo is a magical place at night and these images give a glimpse of the unique perspective our guests get while staying overnight at the Zoo.

‘The African lions, for example, are crepuscular, meaning they’re particularly active as the sun sets, and these extraordinary images reveal the Zoo’s pride using their own night vision to prowl across their vast paddock in the dark, roaring to signal that Whipsnade is their territory – something that never fails to leave our Lookout Lodge guests in awe.’

Famous for their one-legged stance, the Zoo’s flock of flamingos were pictured fishing for food in their large pond, continuing to eat well into the night; whereas cheetahs Fred, Billy-Rae and Robyn were tucked up in their cosy straw filled den at the first signs of dusk.

Overnight guests got stuck in helping Zookeepers to feed the Zoo’s nocturnal aardvark duo Dobby and Terry their midnight enrichment – mealworm and grated cucumber – with night vision images showing the pair trotting around after dark using their heightened sense of smell to sniff out their snacks in the darkness.

Guests on Whipsnade Zoo’s Lookout Lodges experience spend a night within stomping distance of eight southern white rhinos – including newest arrival, seven-week-old Benja – in one of nine cosy cabins nestled in the heart of the Zoo. Beautifully decorated, each cosy Lodge has everything needed for a comfortable night stay at the Zoo, including a private veranda so that guests can sip a bedtime tea or hot chocolate whilst listening to the sounds of the Zoo at night. The fully hosted experience includes three private tours, dinner, bed and breakfast and two days zoo entry included in the price.

Find out more about the Whipsnade Zoo Lookout Lodges experience by visiting whipsnadezoo.org/plan-your-visit/zoo-experiences/lookout-lodge-zoo-sleepover.