Testimonials:

"I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you for the work you did in Longfields School today. The children were just so excited by what they had seen and it has really helped set them up for a fantastic term of rainforest work. Your knowledge and wonderful ease with which you interacted with the children was fantastic and we will definitely be booking you again in the future."

"Dear Mitch, Kayleigh and Hazel,
Just wanted to say my son gave me a massive hug tonight and said thank you for the best birthday ever. Thank you for making the journey to us and keeping patience with the boys. We are so glad we found you guys, you do an amazing job and hope to see more of you in the future. I'm sure I can hear my son sleep talking about chameleons."
Kirsten

"Without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life! Lee and team not only have experience but clear passion and dedication to the animals! The team make the experience as much as the animals do, and should be incredibly proud of themselves for the awesome way that you make customers feel. In the words of the legendary Arnie, (hey great new meerkat name! ) 'we will be back!'"

"These guys are awesome, they attended an after school club for children with disabilities. They brought a lovely variety of animals, took their time with the children and knew everything you wanted to know about the animals."

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TheAnimalExperience

Nine pictures of Animal Experience handlers with various animals

WHO ARE THE ANIMAL EXPERIENCE?

Established in 1995, we have appeared at over 2000 private parties as well as hundreds of schools, veterinary colleges and universities. A family business, our aim is to entertain, educate, and in the case of reptiles to help people overcome their fears! All of our animals are hand tame.

In 2015 we opened our small zoo in Stretham, near Ely in Cambridgeshire. This was a long term aim and a wish come true to ensure that our animals are housed in the best possible environment, giving them extra space and a stimulating environment.

As we are small and only open by appointment we make sure you are welcomed by a member of our team, all of whom share a passion for our animals. This makes for a VIP experience for you and ensures our animals are not overwhelmed so they enjoy their time with you too!

We are always expanding: our beautiful Eurasian Eagle owls will have a new aviary soon with room to fully stretch their amazing wingspan (when not flying on our field); on Mitch's wish list is a room for venomous animals; Hazel would like rainbow lorikeets; the boys would like a Salvator Monitor Lizard and Kayleigh would love an armadillo so the list goes on.

ANIMAL WELFARE

The welfare of our animals is paramount, and we aim to ensure that they always benefit from the Five Freedoms of captive wild animal welfare:

  • Food and Water by providing enough fresh water and the right type and amount of food to keep them fit. Providing food little and often, hiding food in crevices, altering feeding times etc maintains activity throughout the day and requires the animals to work for their food, offering a more stimulating experience.
  • Suitable Living Environment by providing the right temperature, humidity and sunlight and including features that both mentally stimulate the animal and encourage natural behaviour.
  • Health care by preventing them from getting ill or injured and by making sure animals are diagnosed and treated rapidly if they do. By providing a hygienic environment and taking preventative measures the risk of diseases being passed from animals to humans is reduced. All our animals are regularly checked by a specialist veterinarian.
  • Opportunity to exhibit natural behaviour - by making sure animals have enough space, proper facilities and the company of other animals of their own kind. Captivity is an unnatural environment but through the use of physically and psychologically stimulating environments and the provision of a nutritious diet we strive to ensure that the animals are able to exhibit as full a range of evolved behaviours as possible.
  • Protection from fear and distress - by making sure their conditions and treatment avoid mental suffering. We strive to provide areas for escape and privacy from other animals and the public. Please remember during your experience you have been invited into their home and feel assured although they will interact with you it is there choice and you are providing stimulation by being with them in this unique experience.
Two meerkat babies

CAPTIVE BREEDING PROGRAMME

As a measure of the success of our animal welfare programme, we have successfully bred many of our animals.

Meerkat babies appear at regular intervals, as well as sugar gliders and many of the snakes and lizards.

We are particularly pleased to have successfully hatched eggs from our endangered day gecko 2 years in a row.

A large carpet python coiled around a branch

ANIMAL RESCUE

The Animal Experience also rescue and re-home unwanted animals. These are mostly large reptiles that people cannot look after properly, e.g. Burmese Pythons and Iguanas, although we have also been called to collect small snakes from private gardens. We give free impartial advice on reptile suitability and care as pets. Our work in this field is totally unfunded so donations are always appreciated. Some of these animals are expensive to keep!

QUALIFICATIONS AND LICENCES

We are fully insured and all staff are DBS checked. We have studied Herpetology and Pet Store Management. We have City & Guilds qualifications in both Pet Store Management and teaching (PTTLS 7303). We are a licensed zoo so rest assured our animals are in peak condition as their welfare is checked and we meet the high standards of animal husbandry that this licence requires. We also have a Transportation licence from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories agency. We have a risk assessment for schools.

On top of this, Hazel is a paramedic and so health and safety is always put first and foremost!

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