On 30th July, visitors enjoyed an extra dose of animal magic with the launch of a sparkling new bus design in the build up to our 60th anniversary celebrations taking place in 2023.

In partnership with First Essex, Colchester Zoo created a stunning new look for one of the buses that brings visitors to the zoo each day. The Animal Bus features two colourful incarnations of an elephant and an orangutan, while incorporating a diamond pattern to mark the diamond anniversary.

The new bus was unveiled to the public on Saturday, July 30th when it was located at the entrance to the zoo. Families heading in and out of the zoo had the chance to meet Tommy Tall, the stilt-walking First Essex bus driver, as well as enjoy craft activities and the opportunity to explore the bus.

The new Animal Bus livery will be seen across the Colchester area and will be one of three buses operating on the 75 service, dropping off and picking up at Colchester Zoo along the route seven days a week.

Home to more than 180 different species, Colchester Zoo was established in 1963 by zoologists Frank and Helena Farrah. 2023 marks the zoo’s 60th anniversary and the Animal Bus will be in service throughout the anniversary year.

Garry Nicholass, Commercial Director at First Essex Buses Ltd, commented: “We are delighted to have partnered with Colchester Zoo in the creation of the Animal Bus. For many years, First Essex has provided bus services, dropping off and picking up passengers heading to the zoo. To join in the zoo’s anniversary celebrations in this way is another example of our commitment to providing great services for the communities we operate in.”

Melissa Dench, Business Development Manager at Colchester Zoo, commented: “Seeing the bus arrive onsite for the first time was a very exciting moment. Colchester Zoo’s 60th anniversary will be such a special occasion next year, so we are thrilled to have this new bus touring the roads of Essex as we build up to that celebration.”

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