Experience Terms and Conditions

Please note the following points when booking Keeper for the Day, Keeper Shadowing, Zoo Academy or Perfect Partners experiences at Colchester Zoo:

Age restrictions

  • Keeper for the day is available to persons 14 years and over and Keeper shadowing to persons 12 years and over.
  • Zoo Academy is available to children between 6 and 13 only. 6 to 9 year olds take part in Fledgling Keepers. 10 to 13 year olds take part in Zoo cadets.
  • Any Keeper Shadowing participant under the age of 18yrs must be accompanied by a supervising adult above the age of 18yrs. The supervising adult must pay admission and is required as supervisory capacity only, they are not permitted to take part in the experience.
  • Any Keeper for the Day participant under the age of 18yrs must be accompanied by a supervising adult above the age of 18yrs. The supervising adult must also pay the full price to take part in the same experience with the person under 18yrs. 

    We are committed to safe guarding and the protection of children whilst they enjoy their visit around Colchester Zoo. As part of Colchester Zoo’s safeguarding policy towards children, the zoo as the employer, along with our employees, make a commitment to safeguarding young people’s welfare. We fully support the current government policy in their goal to protect young people; to prevent physical, sexual or emotional abuse. As employers, we do not believe our animal experiences are deemed as regulated activity as governed by the Secretary of State’s statutory guidance on supervision of activity by workers with children. Despite this, Colchester Zoo does request that all children under the age of 18 are supervised whilst undertaking animal experiences, as part of our own Safeguarding Policy ensuring adequate supervision at all times.


  • Keeper for the day and Keeper shadowing bookings are available Thursday through to Monday apart from Bank Holidays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Zoo Academy bookings are available on Thursday through to Monday apart from Bank Holidays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Do please book well in advance and have a second choice of date available just in case. You will receive a standard acknowledgement of your order but the date of your booking is not confirmed until you receive your confirmation pack.
  • Please advise at time of booking if activities or menus need to be varied for anyone that has additional requirements including access, pregnancy, diet or immuno suppression.
  • Bookings must be made within one year of the date on a gift voucher.
  • It may be necessary to share some activities with another Keeper for the Day, Fledgling Keeper or Zoo Cadet. Keeper Shadowing is an exclusive experience for one person, unless a second person is paid for by the purchaser. Perfect Partners is a private experience just for the couple.

Cancellations and changes

  • Payment will be taken when you make your booking.  You have 14 days to change your mind about your purchase. 
  • If you choose to participate in an experience within 14 days of your purchase you waive your right to cancel.
  • A £12 fee (inc 20% VAT) will be charged for alterations to your booking at any time
  • A £20.00 fee (inc. 20% VAT) will be charged for cancellations within 14 days of your purchase. After 14 days you waive your right to a refund. 
  • Refunds can only be made to the purchaser.

On the day

Please read the following terms and conditions and also click here to read our essential information page.

  • Please wear clothing suitable for working with the animals and for all weathers including long trousers and walking boots or wellingtons.
  • Fledgling Keepers and Zoo Cadets must be accompanied by a supervising adult at all times.
  • The experience is for the recipient only and accompanying guests must pay to enter the Zoo. Accompanying guests may receive a group rate to enter the Zoo, which must be booked in advance.
  • All animal experiences are subject to change - if circumstances dictate, such as bad weather or a particular animal being unwell, it may be necessary to change your activities without notice. We will always do our best to offer an alternative.
  • Colchester Zoo reserves the right to close all or parts of the Zoo as necessary. Refunds cannot be given in these circumstances.
  • A reasonable level of fitness is required to take part.
  • Please advise before booking if an experience needs to be varied to accommodate a disability.
  • Keeper for the day, Keeper Shadowing and Perfect Partners are not suitable for women who are pregnant.
  • Experiences are not suitable for those allergic to dust or animal fur or bedding.

Keeper for the Day only

  • The timetable for Keeper for the Day has been devised in order to allow as much time as possible with the keepers whilst not detracting from the running of the Zoo. It is not, therefore, possible to change any of the activities that are on offer.


  • Passholder price valid to current Passholders only.
  • Passholder price not valid in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Participant must hold a valid Zoo Pass to receive this offer. 

Data protection

  • The data you supply will only be used for the purpose intended and not passed to any third parties.


Opening times: 

9.30am – 5.00pm or dusk if earlier*

*Last admission 4.00pm

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