Junior keeper experiences

White Rhino

If your child loves animals and would like to experience life as a keeper then this unforgettable experience is the gift for them. 

Join a group of up to three children (plus one accompanying adult per child) to spend time with our trained staff in preparing food and enrichment for our animals, mucking out their enclosures and then meeting and feeding some of them behind the scenes.

Your day is likely to involve the following: 

  • Hoofstock team – usually a mucking out task with bongo, buffalo or giraffe and meeting our rhinos
  • Primates and small mammals team – usually preparing enrichment food and meeting our primates
  • Birds team – usually feeding our penguins

Please note this is subject to change.

For 8-15 year olds, this experience lasts from 9am-midday and costs £185 per child. 

All Junior Keepers must be accompanied by an adult who enjoys free entry to the zoo and is welcome to participate in certain activities. Accompanying friends and family will receive 10% off their entry price and are welcome into the zoo from 10am. 

Additional requirements: On booking please inform us if you have support needs or reasonable adjustment requirements that would help improve the experience for you. Please also advise us if you have any medical conditions.

All our junior keepers will receive the following:

  • A Marwell souvenir drawstring bag
  • A snazzy certificate
  • A Marwell notepad and pencil
  • A badge
  • Stickers

On booking we send a gift pack containing a gift card and the details of the experience. 

Note for the accompanying adult – be sure to bring your camera to capture your Junior Keeper on film in some fantastic photo opportunities!

Current availability: 

  • We are currently not taking bookings for our experiences due to Covid-19. If you would like to book this experience in the future please email us on fundraising@marwell.org.uk to register your interest.


This experience runs on Saturdays and Sundays.  Wednesdays are also available during school holidays. 

To find out more or book your experience please call 01962 777988 The team can also be contacted by email for any queries  fundraising@marwell.org.uk

A few terms and conditions...

What you need to know 


  • All Marwell experiences must be pre-booked by calling 01962 777 988
  • As only a limited number of experiences are available, we advise you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. 
  • Full payment is required upon purchasing a voucher or booking an experience
  • Vouchers are non extendable and non refundable (please check the voucher for expiry dates). Vouchers must be booked and used within the expiry date.
  • Once the booking has been made we are not able to change the date and the experience is non refundable (except under exceptional circumstances; as deemed so by Marwell staff. This may incur an admin fee).
  • Once purchased, an experience cannot be exchanged for an alternative experience, and cannot be re-sold.


  • To get the most from your experience and to ensure safety, please wear suitable clothing, including closed toe footwear, trousers (no shorts) and neutral colours, no brights please as this may upset the animals.
  • It may be necessary, due to animal husbandry reasons, for participants to use a disinfectant footbath. Please ensure suitable, robust footwear is worn, e.g. walking boots, wellington boots or sturdy trainers.
  • You may be asked to wear coveralls or bring a change of clothes for bio security reasons. Failure to do so will result in you not participating in the experience and refunds or rebooking will not be offered. 

During the experience:

  • Participants must abide by staff instructions at all times.  It is a condition of participation that guests observe all warning signs, do not venture over safety barriers and do not enter the zoo's off limit areas, unless instructed and supervised by staff.
  • The junior keeper experience starts at 9am, please meet at the main entrance of the zoo and a member of staff will meet you there. The junior keeper experience includes entry into Marwell for the participant and their guardian.
  • Due to animal behavioural issues, experiences may vary.
  • Marwell Zoo reserves the right to ask any participant to leave the zoo should they behave in an inappropriate or unsafe manner.

Medical conditions, pregnancy and disabilities:

  • Please be advised that it is your responsibility to inform us if you have any medical condition that you or your doctor feel we should be aware of in order to ensure your safety.  Please inform us if you have any allergies. (e.g. dust or fur)
  • Pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals are unable to participate in animal experiences.
  • Whilst every effort will be made to accommodate those with a disability or learning difficulty, due to practicality and health and safety this cannot always be achieved; please contact Marwell Zoo for advice before purchasing. This enables us to do our best to meet the participants particular needs. Unfortunately the junior keeper experience is unable to accommodate wheelchair users due to access restrictions behind the scenes.

General information:

  • If you are running late or unable to make the experience due to unforeseen circumstances on the day, please call 01962 777 972. Any questions or queries in the lead up to your experience please call 01962 777988 or email fundraising@marwell.org.uk
  • If for any unforeseen circumstance your member of staff is late, please be patient. They will be with you as soon as possible and will ensure you have the full experience.
  • Friends and family who are not participating in the experience can gain access to the zoo from our usual opening time of 10am and can receive 10% off their day ticket price, however they will not be able to take part in the experience.
  • As Marwell is a registered charity, the monies raised from the Marwell Experiences are used by us to help care for the animals at the zoo as well as aiding our conservation work in the UK and abroad.
  • Due to unforeseeable circumstances, Marwell cannot guarantee that all animals and exhibits specified will be available. Marwell Zoo reserves the right to alter or cancel the experience on any given day. Marwell Zoo will give as much notice as possible however this cannot always be guaranteed. Marwell Zoo cannot cover travel, accommodation or any other associated costs if the scheduled date is cancelled.
Waiver of Liability
  • Marwell Wildlife accepts no liability for any person or body for any loss, injury or property damage from any action or cause whatsoever undertaken at the park. 
  • Please do not apply if you have any convictions relating to animals.


Where next?

Still looking for surprise gifts? Check out the following...

Annual memberships Animal adoptions

Friendly and knowledgeable


"The Junior Keeper Experience was excellent - fun, interactive and hands-on, while at the same time being very informative and eye-opening. This was largely down to, Asim , who went the extra mile to make sure it was an enjoyable experience, and was a mine of fascinating information."Experience guest, August 2017.

Wholeheartedly recommend

"A memory making morning spent with my 12 year old niece at the beautiful Marwell Zoo. Neither of us will ever forget our day. It was interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any animal loving youngsters."Experience guest,  August 2017.