Every time I’m in London I can’t help but visit the London Zoo. Not only is it one of my favourite zoological parks but they are always expanding, changing and making it even better so there is always something new at the London Zoo. This year the zoo has two awesome new exhibits that are sure to thrill and excite zoo goers, one is In with the Lemurs and the other is In with the Spiders. Yes, you read that right you actually get to go into the enclosure with these creatures!
The In with the Spiders may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I encourage you to give it a try. There are over 40,000 species of spider across the globe and the London Zoo’s In with the Spiders is Europe’s only spider walk through! As the zoo stats they are “taking on the challenge of a lifetime in a bid to clear the name of one of the world’s most feared and misunderstood creatures.” Located within the zoo’s B.U.G.S building you’ll meet spiders that are native to the UK as well as exotic species like the black widow, huntsman and giant bird-eating spiders. The exhibit’s main focus is with walk through room that is littered with huge golden orb spiders with their beautiful colouring, long legs and large metre wide webs in which they hang out in. In this mock forest home of theirs these sociable spiders help create the webs and share in the food. But don’t worry you won’t find yourself walking through any webs with arms flailing, they are strategically placed and there is even a spider with web in front of a mirror for the terrifying or excited selfie. The zoo’s new In with the Spiders exhibit will also be home to one of the UK’s most endangered creatures, the fen raft spider. With a leg span of 7 centimetres they are one of the biggest spiders in Britain and also have the amazing ability to walk on water where they hunt. The fen raft spider is only found in a few small sites in the UK and has a small population in Europe but the London Zoo is working to rear and reintroduce them back into the wild in hopes of saving the species.
Perhaps a more intriguing exhibit is the zoo’s new In with the Lemurs where you can walk through their replicated Madagascar forest. Home to over a dozen ring tailed lemurs and one illusive black and white ruffed lemur, the In with the Lemurs exhibit is a great way to get up close and be entertained by these charming creatures. For the sun-worshipper in them the zoo’s architects have expertly created the exhibit to follow the path of the sun to ensure the lemurs’ basking platforms are strategically placed to maximize their lounging sun poses. I highly recommend visiting the new exhibit when they are having one of their species talks, that take place across the zoo (check zoo map for times), as it’s a great time to see the lemurs active as it’s also snack time and you’ll learn about the species and even the different personalities of the lemurs at the zoo. It was also the only time I saw the black and white lemur come out for a wander and munch.
So whether you’re adventurous or looking to finally face your fears I highly recommend you visit the London Zoo’s new In with the Spiders exhibit, even if they still make you a little uneasy you’ll walk away having a better appreciation for them for all they do. And of course, the In with the Lemurs is bound to be a great success but make sure to really stop and take notice of the exhibits gradual move from forest to rubble trees as it replicates a timber mill and drives home the real threat logging has on their wild habitat and to the species at large. Next time you’re at the London Zoo be sure to check out what’s new!
Have you experienced the London Zoo’s new exhibits? What did you think?
I was a guest of the London Zoo and as always all opinions are my own.