Become a keeper for a day

Tigers at Marwell Zoo

This once in a lifetime experience will give you a unique insight into the day-to-day life of our keepers and the animals they look after. 

A typical day will include spending time with each of our animal teams helping to prepare food, mucking out and going behind the scenes and getting up close to a variety of our animals. Your day is likely to involve the following: 

  • Bird team – typically the penguins
  • Hoofstock team – typically the zebra, Oryx or rhino
  • Tea break (voucher provided)
  • Herptile team – typically time spent in cold blooded corner or tropical world
  • Lunch – usually around 1pm  (voucher provided)
  • Primates and small mammals team – typically with our lemurs, tamarins and marmosets
  • Carnivores team –  typically getting to feed a couple of large and a couple of small carnivores 

Please note this is subject to change and the order of the day may vary. 

All our Keepers for a Day receive the following:

  • A snazzy certificate
  • A Marwell jute bag
  • A Marwell reusable water bottle
  • A Marwell Zoo guide book – packed with animal facts
  • A hot drink and lunch at Cafe Graze
  • A Marwell Wildlife souvenir mug

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

This experience costs £395 and lasts a full day from 8.15am to 4pm. Accompanying guests are given 10% off their day ticket price and are welcome into the zoo from 10am.  

Current availability:  

Good availability from 3 May 2018

Gift vouchers are also available for the 2018 season.

This experience runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This experience is available for guests aged 16 and over.

To find out more or book your experience now please call our Fundraising office on 01962 777988 or email fundraising@marwell.org.uk.

A few terms and conditions...

What you need to know 

Booking:

  • 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.

Clothing:

  • 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:

  • The keeper for the day experience starts at 8:15am, please meet at the main entrance of the zoo and a member of staff will meet you there. Experiences include entry into Marwell for the participant.
  • 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 zoos off limit areas, unless instructed and supervised by staff.
  • 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.
  • As experiences vary we cannot give you a timetable of the day, so participants and friends should co-ordinate between themselves when and where to meet up. Lunch time is normally at 1pm, in Café Graze.
  • Bring your camera; you will have some excellent photo opportunities. Feel free to ask staff to take pictures of you enjoying your experience.

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 keeper for the day experience is unable to accommodate wheelchair users due to access restrictions behind the scenes.
  • Due to the hands on nature of this experience, participants of keeper for a day must be physically fit and suffering no severe health problems. 

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 may purchase tickets with a 10% discount, 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.
  • For insurance purposes, the scheme is only available to those aged 16 years and over.
  • 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.

Adults under 18 years old:

  • Adults under 18 years old will need a guardian for the health and safety briefing. This occurs at the start of the experience and lasts around 10 minutes.

 

Where next?

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

Annual memberships Animal adoptions

Keepers were fantastic

"I cannot pick one particular bit of the day. From start to finish I couldn't have asked for more.....all the keepers were fantastic and included me in everything they possibly could. I shall always remember my experience it's one of the best things I have ever done. Thank you."

Experience Guest, August 2017

Incredible

"For the day I was able to live the dream! The keepers were all so friendly and knowledgeable which made the day flow smoothly and they all clearly love the work they do. Being so close to the animals and helping for the day was incredible and I will never forget it!"

Experience Guest, August 2017.

Unique Day

"This is an amazing, unique day that will stay with me for years to come. I have never been so close to so many endangered animals in my life. To be able to go behind the scenes with experienced, knowledgeable keepers and help feed the animals is a real privilege."  Experience Guest, June 2017.

Memorable

"I've wanted to do this for as long as I can remember & finally did, it's a truly amazing memorable experience. These animals are beautiful & fascinating & you see them totally differently when you're face to face. Words cannot express how it makes you feel, I had the biggest smile ever! Take this opportunity to get up close with them, you will not be disappointed."

Experience Guest, June 2017.