Brave trio measure up our BIG 5
Tuesday 31 March 2009
You know you have a pretty big job to do when only a jumbo-sized tape measure and a very, very tall man can do the trick. That's what faced ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this week, as final preparations were put in place for BIG 5.
Challenging visitors to take the quest to get acquainted with the world’s most enigmatic species, BIG 5 is showcasing some of the biggest and best stars of the animal kingdom - lions, giraffes, elephants, bears and rhinos. But before things could get started, one question had to be answered: just how big are the BIG 5?
First with their hands up were schoolboys Kai Gregory and Nathan Kitching, aged five and six, small in stature but big in bravery! They measured Leelee, our female elephant calf and one of the zoo’s BIG 5 stars.
Using a jumbo-sized tape measure they can see how much this two-year-old has grown and see if she’s up to the task to be in the BIG 5. The boys will also be sharing some of their “5-a-day” goodies with Leelee , so she’s in tiptop condition for the start of BIG 5 experience.
Next up was giant-sized actor Jeff Rudom who, despite standing an astounding 7ft tall, still had to look up when he measures the BIG 5’s youngest star – giraffe calf Mtoto. At just nine months old Mtoto was taller still at 9ft.
Jeff donned his explorer gear to help our young explorers to share more “5-a-day” goodies with the male calf.
The BIG 5 is an experience for adventurers big and small. Pick up your essential full colour quest guide at the start of the trail which takes you around the five “action stops” on your way to meet and learn all about this majestic quintet.
Spot our cuddly foursome of European Brown Bears – Wellington, Winslow, Wendy and Penny. Try out the wheel of fortune at the Lions of the Serengeti and find out how a pride’s lunch is a lottery in the wild. Then see how you measure up to the size of a giraffe.
Our biggest BIG 5 are of course the Asian rhinos and the elephants. At Rhinos of Nepal learn what it takes to look after these prehistoric-looking herbivores, while at the Lubetkin arena get a close-up view of the elephants as their keepers host an on-the-spot “question time”.
Special explainer talks
En route around the BIG 5 catch the colourful and enlightening explainer talks and keeper feeds and don’t forget to collect a reward for completing the quest from the zoo gift shop.