Too Late for Zoo Lates?

It’s mid-summer. The long humid nights call for sweet ciders and socializing. Every business in London is capitalizing on the end of human hibernation, as these primitive animals venture outdoors into gardens, onto rooftops, and become immersed in city pools.

Every weekend there’s a unanimous cry for music festivals and outdoor events, and you’re never stuck for choice.

Even the London Zoo puts on what’s known as the “wildest” summer evenings, and opens its doors to outrageous party animals. It’s somewhat controversial and is becoming a summer institution, but who knows for how much longer.

 “Zoo Lates” happens every Friday from 6pm in June & July and is not your usual zoo experience. Imagine an adults-only, alcohol fuelled interactive zoo experience, with thousands of people, street food pop-ups, silent disco’s and acoustic performances.

What’s not to like?

Dr. Seuss once said that “Adults are just obsolete children”, and the Zoo Lates provide a night to re-install the wonder and imagination of your ‘lost years’. Big kids [18+] ride around on children’s carousels, prance around in animal onsies, dress up in flamboyant masks, and stare back at the animals, like looking into a mirror…


The entire central space is arranged for human feeding time, and amid the skwarking and prancing, and courting, are treats of all varieties.

However the event has been hotly debated recently. An annoying few of our own species have been getting wildly primitive and disturbing the animals (more than the status quo). One stripped off and tried to swim in the penguin enclosure (actually quite hilarious), and another tried to feed beer to a tiger, obviously raising animal welfare concerns.

Over 70,000 people have now signed petitions to stop these events and I fear their signatures may prevail – however it’s a catch 22. These events raise £800,000 each year for the zoo’s conservation efforts and get reinvested into the facilities. That’s a lot to lose due to the actions of a few.

What are your views on the controversy? Personally, I think there must be an alternative to shutting the event down. Simple rules could work? Or perhaps the flavor of the event will be changed to follow in suit of another fabulous event – Streak for Tigers. Who’s with me?



This entry was published on August 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm. It’s filed under London and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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