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“Up close and personal”
Review of Linton Zoo

Linton Zoo
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Linton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: At Linton Zoo, emphasis is on conservation and education, while providing an enjoyable family outing. There is a wealth of rare and exotic creatures to see including Tigers, Lions, Tapirs, Lemurs, Owls, Parrots, Giant Tortoises, Tarantula Spiders and many others. The zoo is an ever evolving attraction, set in 18 acres of gardens and woodland with plenty of picnic areas. It is generally considered a one and a half hour visit but some visitors do stay longer especially on days when there is a full programme of keeper talks and activities. The favourite of all is the animal encounter sessions. Many of the aviaries and enclosures are heavily planted so you need to be prepared to take your time at each exhibit. Bear in mind that Linton Zoo is a breeding centre for endangered species and is not a commercial entertainment centre. There are several options to enhance your visit with a behind the scenes tour, money raised from these special tours directly support field conservation projects through our charity. There are sometimes late closing evenings with extra special activities aimed at giving you a better understanding of specific animals, details are posted on our Facebook and website. Expect country park like pathways, some are gravel and sand others are grass, because of the large trees there are occasional roots. The zoo is more or less all out in the open so there is little shelter on wet days, if you visit on a day with rain expected please do come suitably dressed with waterproof footwear. Free parking is within zoo grounds and there is a basic children's play area. The one toilet block is situated on the car park area which is within the zoo grounds and as the zoo is quite compact it is within easy reach most times. There is also a coffee shop which serves a wide range of snack and lunch items as well as hot and cold drinks. We are open all year but restricted hours during the winter months. Visit our website for visit information including opening hours and details of activities at weekends and during the school holidays. Our Facebook page will keep you updated with all the latest news and of course the latest cute baby pictures.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Grandad and Grand-daughter had a really fun keepering experience feeding lemurs, giant tortoise and kangaroos with joeys. The supervising keeper pitched it exactly right for a not very confident little girl and all the other staff were just as friendly, welcoming and helpful. There was enough cleaning of lemur house for the educational looking after animals to get across and plenty of interaction with the animals. Happy animals breed successfully and by that criteria they are happy at Linton. Will be buying the adult experience for grandad in the future.

1  Thank Carter025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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455 - 459 of 658 reviews

Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

Nobody can help the weather but the gloom and the rain was irrelevant and any thoughts of it was eradicated by the staff of Linton Zoo. All of the members of staff are welcoming, enthusiastic and above all work with such passion and unrelenting drive to do their best for the well being of the animals both in the zoo and in the wild. I have been to the zoo on many occasions and I have never been disappointed with the animals or enclosures. It's a fantastic place to stroll around, learn and just get lost for a while. My trip yesterday was particularly special as I had been bought a "Meet and Feed a Big Cat" experience. I meet Katinka the female Tiger. I don't want to ruin anyone else's experience by telling you what happens but all I'll say is watch out when you stand up!! Every aspect of the experience was very impressive and equally stunning. It was a privilege to spend time with such a majestic animal. I spent the rest of my time walking round the zoo just taking it all in. The lemurs and tapirs being particular favourites, however Billy the Binturong topped the list. I would like to thank Mikey, James, Dawn and Kim very much for making my day so special. I can only applaud you for efforts you make not only on the side of the zoo that visitors see but on all the work you do behind the scene and that I and others would never consider. I will return soon and I'm already looking forward to it.

2  Thank paulmarshalluk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

If I had read these last two reviews before visiting I would have had my doubts as to whether I would enjoy it. The day before my visit I had gone to Colchester Zoo and to be perfectly honest, I preferred Linton. Whilst not as big, by far, it more than compensates by being visitor friendly with the animals' welfare being the highest priority. One cannot expect a small, family run zoo to compete with some of the larger ones who have a seemingly a bottomless purse.. To criticise for having enclosures with a lot of growth seems to be missing the point. Animals need their own seclusion and not be 'on display'.
I found the staff to be very willing to talk to us, which is more than can be said of larger zoos where the staff seem to be 'remote' and almost automatons, probably because of the larger number of visitors they have to deal with.
If one wants a very formal zoo with large exhibits and lavish enclosures then Linton is not for you, but if you appreciate contented animals who are not stressed-out by thousands of visitors staring at them then I thoroughly recommend Linton..

1  Thank Lengthofwire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Hardly any animals & very run down. We looked around the entire thing in 20 minutes. One point I have to make the zoo aware of, in the shelter by the tiger enclosure was a poster telling visitors about poaching. Now, I hate pouching as much as the next person but the images in the board were horrific! Tigers BEHEADED and even CUT INTO PEICES & the photos were bloody shocking. With so many children being able to see these, you would expect a little more care. I found this completely shocking. I agree that visitors should be educated about the dangers to the animals but was about 1000 steps over the mark.
All the animals looked depressed as well. The zoo could really do with updating some of the enclosures for the poor things.

3  Thank Harriett K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lintonzoo, Owner at Linton Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2014

Anyone who complains that they were only able to spend 20 minutes walking around our zoo will not be rewarded fully, given the time there are many lovely animals to see, this time of the year is especially nice as there are lots of additional babies too. You will see our advice in the description above is to wander slowly around at least twice, no one can possibly get around in less than one and half hours and still see everything we have to offer.

It seems your main gripe is with one of our educational display boards. These have been placed at a suitable height so that small children are not easily able to view them without adult supervision. Unfortunately the content is a real fact of life and as one of our primary aims is to provide education, the two display boards in our tiger viewing area are very appropriate and whenever possible our keepers and volunteers also bring out customs seizure animal derivatives including skins, bones and other body parts. From our many decades of experience this is an ideal way for, not only children, but also adults to learn about the reality of the situation so much of our wildlife faces today.

Our educational material is designed and produced by a range of individuals who have expertise in all areas of teaching, conservation and animal welfare, you can be assured that this subject has been discussed thoroughly about the appropriate content to get the message across, there was a choice of far more shocking images we could have used. Although you may be aware of poaching issues and the many other threats to tigers in the wild, many are not and for anyone who would rather not be exposed to such subjects on their zoo visit, be prepared as this is something many of the zoo community will be doing more of in the future. It is generally felt that we cannot bury our heads in the sand and the only way to try and reduce more of this happening is to expose the issues.

We wonder what your level of expertise is to assess that "the animals looked depressed", this of course can only be a matter of your opinion because, if this was the case, we would not achieve the super breeding successes that we have and I am sure this point would be picked up on by one of our veterinary visits or inspections by other experts in the field. However, your minute-long observation of what you perceive as a ‘depressed’ animal does not necessarily reflect the more regular behaviour of the animal and its usual activities. You could be seeing an animal resting, or a certain part of the day where it is just not as active because its been fed, or is in the portion of the day where keepers aren’t dropping by. Take into account also the natural history of an animal and the percentage of time it may spend not moving. Casting judgment on the animal welfare standards of a particular zoo by a short observation is hardly fair.

Finally, during your brief visit you probably did not notice (or least you didn't mention) the masses of building work underway to not only maintain, but also upgrade and newly build animal accommodation or our lovely new visitor facilities.

Having said all this, we would of course welcome you back to the zoo to discuss what you think would be more appropriate for our educational display material and to take a tour around the animals and their enclosures to see if any of the points you have made are valid and what we may be able to do to help.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We visit a lot of zoos and it has to be said that this was one of the most disappointing ones we have visited. The admission is reasonable and there is a good selection of animals on display but that is the end of the positives for us, I'm afraid.

The enclosures seem very run down and I understand that some zoos allow their enclosures to be more natural but it seemed that they had been completely overgrown in some sections of the zoo. There also seemed to be a real lack of staff around, with the only person we encountered being the lady sat at entrance where we paid.

We also found some of the model dinosaurs/horse-riding fairies (seriously) to be a little bit outdated. All in all, we were disappointed as it seems like there is a lot of potential to be had at Linton but for us, it wasn't seemingly up to scratch right now.

Thank TSSandJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lintonzoo, Owner at Linton Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

We appreciate your feedback, but given the content it is clear that you have not visited recently. For your information our very popular dinosaurs, which we are sorry you did not appreciate, are part of our education programme and help to reinforce the meaning of extinction. The fairy horseman was part of our children's secret garden play area enjoyed by many under 5's, unfortunately this was vandalised and this whole area closed off well before your visit which you say was in September 2013 (so your visit must have been some time before this or you were in an out of bounds area!).
Regarding your lack of staff comment, there are many around at all times, just because you may not have seen them doesn't mean they are not around as they go about their daily routines. There is usually plenty of opportunities to meet them and talk to them at the scheduled keeper talks and animal encounters.
Building, gardening and general maintenance is a continuous project and it is impossible for everything to look brand new all of the time. It's a shame that anyone who mentions anything which, in their opinion doesn't look tiptop, can't find space in their review to mention any of our lovely new, award winning enclosures and landscaped gardens.
We find it difficult to understand how such out of date reviews are allowed to be published and highlighted as 'new'. We hope readers of this review will look at the many positive reviews and make up their own minds as to whether this is a true reflection of our zoo.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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