Zoo visit for local kids

DESPITE being home to more than 1,000 animals, Belfast Zoo welcomed one if its biggest groups yet this week when more than 2,000 pre-school children - including kids from Bella Bambinos in Dromore and Little Friends in Banbridge, parents, and staff took part in the annual Zoo Days, organised by Early Years.

Children, parents and staff from playgroups, daycares and parent and toddler groups across Northern Ireland visited the Zoo on Wednesday and Thursday, and it certainly was a day to remember for all involved. The children, many of whom were on their first visit to the zoo, got to meet and learn about some of their favourite animals, including Boom, a joey (baby kangaroo) born only a month ago.

Debra Doherty, Membership Officer for Early Years said: “Zoo Day is a highlight of the year for children and staff alike, and we’re delighted to see so many groups and members coming out to take part. Zoo Day is a fun day out, but the children also learn a lot, and it is a great chance for children and members of Early Years to come together and mix.”

Cathy Morgan, Marketing and Events Officer for Belfast Zoo, was also delighted with how the event went. She said, “We were delighted to welcome everyone to the Early years zoo day and we enjoyed introducing a new generation of zoo visitors, to over 150 species of animals and to the wonders of the natural environment. The children were all very well behaved but our keepers are used to working with little ‘cheeky monkeys’!”

Early Years is a membership organisation that supports and promotes early childcare and education, providing information and training for parents, childcare providers, employers and local authorities. Early Years membership is open to all child care settings, individuals and organisations who subscribe to the organisation’s values and principles.

Further details about membership can be obtained on 028 9038 7940 or by visiting www.early-years.org