Twycross Zoo was founded in 1963 by pet shop owners Molly Badham and Natalie Evans, after the pair’s increasing zoological collection outgrew their three quarter acre site in Hints, Staffordshire.
Twycross Zoo is now renowned as a World Primate Centre and has a wide variety of monkeys and apes including the UK’s only group of bonobos. We have breeding groups of many endangered primate species so we often have babies and toddlers playing around in our great ape groups, and in many of our monkey groups. We also hold a range of other species including Asian elephants, snow leopards, penguins, meerkats, tapir, hyena, and the world’s rarest big cat, the Amur leopard.
Set in more than 80-acres, we have around 500 animals of almost 150 species to see, including many endangered animals and native species in the Zoo’s Nature Reserve. You can walk with our ring-tailed lemurs in their walk-through enclosure; see our troop of emperor tamarins leap above your head in their treetop exhibit, and watch our Humboldt penguins take their daily walk. Our keepers present regular talks and feeds where you can learn a bit more about some of our animals such as the chimpanzees, Asian elephants and South American coatis.
In 2013, we won BIAZA’s Best Sustainable Zoo or Aquarium and Best Education Project (public and general visitor) awards, and were commended in the Significant Advance in Husbandry and Welfare, Significant Advances in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, and Best Education Project (Schools and Educational Institutions) categories.
Our conservation breeding programmes flourished last year as we welcomed a critically endangered Western lowland gorilla, an endangered bonobo along with many more zoo babies including two endangered snow leopard cubs, meerkat pups, our first ever spectacled owl chick, and several babies in many of our primate groups.
Twycross Zoo’s award winning Education Department offers a variety of discovery opportunities for many different types of groups and parties. Amongst others, the Zoo holds the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. All sessions are curriculum linked and all are designed to best engage all age groups.