London’s favourite flappers

by ZSL on

The 2020s haven't got off to the best start have they! So our keepers have been looking back at the roaring twenties instead, famous for jazz, art deco, and of course... flappers!   

So, just for fun, keeper Tegan has turned to some of ZSL London Zoo's favourite flappers to bring you some helpful advice on getting through lockdown and making the most of what the decade has brought us so far. 

Sean Bean the Sunbittern

No one knows how to socially distance like our favourite grumpy old flapper, Sean. Sunbitterns have beautiful ‘eye spots’ on their wings which are to deter predators and other animals in the wild.

Sean Bean lives in our large bird walkthrough, the Blackburn Pavilion. Despite being surrounded by a multitude of other birds, Sean keeps safe by flashing his wings out whenever anyone gets too close - letting others know that health and safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have to remember to socially distance! 


Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley the emus, and their neighbours ‘The Ian’s’

During this pandemic when we can’t travel like we usually would and we might be stuck at home, it’s a great time to get to know your neighbours and make some new friendships! Just like our emus, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley, and wallabies, 'The Ian's', who joined together last year.

They're now as thick as thieves and spend all their time sharing food, as demonstrated by Mr Darcy, and going into each other’s 'houses'! It’s a good lesson to us all that no matter how different our neighbours may seem, by getting out there and making new friendships we will learn and gain so much!

Woolly the woolly-necked stork

As the oldest woolly-necked stork in the world (you may remember her record-breaking birthday last year), Woolly is the perfect bird to go to for some wisdom. A firm feathery favourite with keepers, she always treats herself and never holds back from enjoying her favourite things. She also doesn’t hold back from taking others' favourite things, and if there’s a tasty mouse or fish about she is sure to make sure she gets her share!

So, like Woolly, make sure you are kind to yourself during lockdown, and remember that it's ok to have a little treat. 

Sandor and Bohuslav, our Eastern White Pelicans

Sandor and Bohuslav, our Eastern White Pelicans at ZSL London Zoo

These two boys are such close friends and always look out for each other. They know how important it is to have a good mate! In such difficult times, it’s important to keep in touch, and always be kind. So touch base with your friends and family, especially people who may still be working throughout lockdown, and those who live alone and those who are vulnerable and might be shielding. It’s a difficult time for all of us, but a phone call or a funny joke sent to a loved one might make their day.


The Waldrapp Ibis

A northern bald ibis at ZSL London Zoo

Love is in the eye of the beholder but when you first see a waldrapp ibis, they aren’t often met with love! With bald faces (they are also known as the northern bald ibis) and a crazy crest of feathers at the back of their head, they are some of our more unusual looking residents.

But these are very special birds that are threatened in the wild - and in previous years ZSL has even sent some of our young birds to go into a reintroduction programme in Spain - a fantastic achievement for the Zoo! 

They are an excellent reminder that what you look like is never going to affect what you can achieve. So if you haven’t made it to the hairdressers for months, or don’t feel like dressing up when you are stuck at home - always embrace the real you and be proud of your individuality!

If you can support us while we're closed, it will make a real difference. 

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