Unless you live in the African outback or the shores of North America, you’re unlikely to see what wild creatures like elephants or sea lions get up to after sundown.
But at Whipsnade Zoo’s unique Big Night Out event on Saturday, animal-lovers could do just that as the attraction opened its gates into the evening.
As well as the chance to see tigers clambering for their food like they would in the wild and an after-hours sea lion display, the zoo also played host to an array of musical entertainments including a steel drum band, carnival dancers and Tanzanian acrobats who stormed the Mane Stage.
Visitors could also enjoy barbecue food or specially prepared picnics, before witnessing the majestic elephants’ night-time walk.
Little ones and their parents could even embody their favourite zoo animal with onesies, face paint and masks on offer at the Transformation Station, where they were transported to the wild through green screen technology.
Damien Lucas visited the attraction after hours on Saturday. He said: “It was like a festival with monkeys, tigers and sealions.
“The weather obviously helped but the atmosphere was fantastic and it was surreal listening to the African band sat with a beer and hearing monkeys and animals in the background.
“It was a great night out and my daughter loved every minute, especially staying up late!”
There are a number of other events on offer during the school summer holidays, including children’s art workshops and the chance to sleep over at the Lookout Lodge, alongside the usual daily displays and demonstrations.