No, I wasn't the victim of a bad hen-night prank gone wrong! I was one of a privileged few who were invited to Dublin Zoo last Saturday morning to meet the keepers and follow them as they wake and feed the animals. It was early, it was chilly, but nobody really cared about that as the early morning autumn sun shone on the chimps as they ambled out of their overnight enclosure and deftly caught the apples the keeper threw to them for breakfast; beckoning cheekily for more when they were ready. Come to think of it, the whole scenario was actually very reminiscent of my usual morning breakfast routine!
From the chimps we moved on to watch the rhinos, zebras, giraffes and elephants all waking up, greeting each other and stretching their legs (a very long stretch in the case of the giraffes).
It really was very special to watch the animals in such a peaceful setting and to hear their keepers talk about them so knowledgeably and fondly.
We all had a wonderful time and it really was a great way to spend a sunny autumn day. The zoo was bursting with life and colour and without the summer crowds, the children were able to see all the animals very clearly. If you're looking for something to do with the children over the coming weekends, I would highly recommend it.
Thank you to everyone at Dublin Zoo, especially the keepers, for their hospitality and for giving us a wonderful experience.
For more information about the zoo, and a list of special events coming up in the autumn, visist www.dublinzoo.ie