AN EVENING of fun, fundraising and fascination is promised for Party at the Zoo, with TV presenter Chris Packham.

The event, at IW Zoo on Friday, July 5, will raise money for the zoo’s Wildheart Trust, and specifically the new lion enclosure project.

In February, the zoo welcomed two lions, Kumba and Vigo, who were voluntarily given up by a Spanish circus.

As circus lions they spent their first few years cooped up together in a lorry trailer as they travelled across Europe. They had been neutered and their claws removed, which prevents some of their natural behaviours.

The zoo has housed them in temporary facilities while it raises funds for a purpose-built home. As the lions are so big, it has become apparent that the home will need to be supersized.

Luckily, Wilmott Dixon Construction chose the zoo as its community partner in 2019 and has offered to design and build the accommodation for the lions.

The trust now needs to purchase the materials.

The Party at the Zoo, hosted by Wildheart Trust trustee, Chris Packham, is an opportunity to launch the fundraising.

Chris will be giving a series of animal talks, while fellow trustee and trust founder, Charlotte Corney, will be giving talks on the history of the zoo and the conservation work it undertakes both in the UK and abroad.

The Hawk Conservancy will be demonstrating natural behaviours of the raptors they are bringing, along with information on birds in the wild, and the zoo animal team will be offering information and demonstrations on animal welfare and keeping rescued big cats.

They will also be demonstrating how the zoo health checks the cats without having to sedate them.

The zoo is delighted to welcome singer Derek Sandy, a newly appointed zoo ambassador, who will play an acoustic set.

Street food and drinks will be available.

The event is on from 6pm to 9.30pm, and tickets are £40.

They can be purchased from or over the phone on 214462 or at the zoo.