Socks or chocolates? Which will it be this year? Boring, though.
Why not treat your loved one to a really unusual present in 2013? They could meet and feed a tiger, be a Keeper for the Day, tickle a tapir and much more!
On Thursday, 7th November, Darren Webster, Blackpool Zoo’s Director, led members of his team on to the stage to accept the Visit Lancashire top accolade for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year. Six other attractions throughout the county were shortlisted, but Zoo staff were absolutely delighted that the park was chosen as the winner.
The event was held in rather unusual, but very spectacular surroundings in the nave of Blackburn Cathedral. Simon Calder, a leading travel writer, opened the proceedings after a superb dinner, with a very entertaining presentation about his own travels around Lancashire and other areas of the UK as well as overseas.
The ceremony was attended by almost 500 representatives of travel businesses in Lancashire and three other awards came to the resort. Winners in most categories continue through to represent the county in the Visit England Awards in May. Fingers crossed!
Blackpool Zoo’s Tigertastic Halloween events raised over £2600 for 21st Century Tiger, the charity based at ZSL (London Zoo) which oversees conservation projects for tigers worldwide.
Less than 5000 tigers remain on the planet and drastic steps are needed to protect them. 21st Century Tiger is involved in numerous projects to protect habitats as well as educating people to live in harmony with these majestic big cats. Discouraging poaching and working with governments to eliminate it entirely are also high on the list of priorities.
Activities such as quiz trails, selling clay tiger paw prints, a raffle and tombola all raised funds, but attention was drawn to their plight by passionate tiger supporter and Blackpool Zoo member, Lynne Gorrie, whose head was shaved for sponsorship paid by her friends and visitors to the Zoo. Lynne works tirelessly for her favourite big cats despite disabilities arising from a brain tumour 30 years ago. She says, “Having my head shaved and feeling a bit cold is nothing compared to the suffering of some of the wild tigers which are captured or trapped in snares.”
Hairdresser, Katie Mayor, a senior stylist at Jo and Cass in Preston was full of admiration for Lynne’s brave act. “I’ve been asked to do some odd things in the past, but shaving someone’s head in October in front of a huge, hungry tiger, takes the biscuit!”
Blackpool Zoo’s tigers are looking forward to being the centre of attention this Halloween half term.
The week is set to be a tiger-tastic celebration of the species, which is critically endangered in the wild.
Everyday from 26th October until 3rd November, the Zoo will be offering a limited number of places to feed the two majestic tigers, which lets people get closer than ever before!
In addition, there will be terrific tiger trails, fun pumpkin workshops, spooky Halloween and tiger fancy dress, fiendish face painting and enchanting storytime sessions.
Visitors can also enter poetry and photography competitions, with some fantastic prizes to be won and conservation tables will be manned by education experts to teach visitors all about the plight of tigers in the wild.
Zoo fan Lynne Gorrie, who has fallen in love with resident big cats Zambar and Alyona will also having her head shaved on Halloween to raise money for 21st Century Tiger, which supports projects to help tigers across the world.
Keen photographer Lynne also donates all her stunning pictures to the zoo for use on their website and in marketing materials and she will be on hand throughout the day to give advice on how to capture amazing pictures with any camera.
Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool, said: “Our plans for Halloween are bigger and better than ever before and we will be celebrating two of our most popular residents.
“There really is something for everyone to enjoy this half term and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors during what is set to be a spooktacular week!”
People are being invited to sponsor Lynne in her headshave by visiting her just giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Jude-Rothwell