Meet the gibbons at Paignton Zoo

Paignton, Devon

Let’s face it, British animals can be fairly tame (bless ‘em). At least, compared to tigers, Chilean flamingos, Asiatic lions and tropical reptiles they are – all of which you’ll find at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

Spread out over 80 acres, you’ll find tropical forest, crocodile swamp, savannah, wetlands and desert – all of it teeming with exotic animals. Some of the most recent additions are the four rare Sumatran tigers who were born here early in 2009 (so cute!), following in the wake of Zhuri the black rhino, who arrived in 2007.

In fact Paignton is something of a star when it comes to conservation. Not only was Zhuri’s birth the first to be caught on camera, but the zoo has featured in a number of TV programmes including Creatures Like Us on the Animal Planet channel, and the BBC series Zookeepers.

After you and the gang have spent the morning getting acquainted with meerkats, orangutans and red pandas (they have those too, you know), why not grab a bite at the Island Restaurant and watch gibbons swinging away nearby while you nibble on your sandwich?

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