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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Dreamnight proves to be a big hit with Dalton zoo visitors

YOUNGSTERS from across the North West had the chance to get close to some exotic creatures as part of a special night.

Dreamnight took place at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park on Wednesday evening for the eighth year running.

The event offers disadvantaged and disabled children the chance to look round the zoo and take part in activities, such as feeding the animals.

Children who are disabled, blind, deaf, chronically ill or deserving from across the region were nominated to attend the event with their families.

Zoo boss David Gill welcomed the crowds and told the Evening Mail that he finds hosting the event very rewarding.

He said: “Basically it is a wonderful opportunity for us to give something to people less fortunate than ourselves.

“We have got something very special here and it gives us a lot of pleasure to share it with these children and see the wonderful smiles on their faces.”

Before getting the chance to feed some of the animals, many of the children had their faces painted and met some of the zoos pythons.

Little Luke Pettifer, from Barrow, attended the event with his sisters Katie and Lucy and smiled as he fed the lemurs.

His mother Sue Pettifer said: “This is the first time we have been here, they’ve been to the zoo before but never to this event.

“My little boy has special needs but he absolutely loves the animals. He is having a fantastic time feeding the animals with the keepers.”

Luiz Da Silva, from Walney, got the chance to feed some penguins and his mother Janine Da Silva said their invitation to Dreamnight had been a nice surprise.

She said: “He loves animals, especially penguins. We had never heard of the event before until people nominated us, and we were surprised when the invitation turned up.”

Cheryl Smith travelled from Chorley with her daughters Hannah and Philipa and said the evening had become a regular event for her family.

She said: “We have been two or three times over the years. It is always a good event and Hannah loves coming down to the zoo.”

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