Thinking about booking an animal encounter as part of a celebration for children?
Is Amazing Animal Encounters the right animal encounter provider for you and your child's birthday party?
Amazing Animal Encounters take bookings from private individuals for sessions in their home for private groups of friends and family. On this basis, we are happy to consider bookings for small groups of children celebrating a special occasion. Please make sure we can meet your expectations. What should you expect from hiring live animals? Live animals should not be forced to do what they do not want to do, regardless of whether a fee exchanged hands
If an animal you were hoping for cannot come or is put away at a session or cannot be handled as much as you were hoping- it is not the fault of the handler or the animal. We will never be pressurised into putting animal safety, welfare or health at risk
. The welfare of both animals and children come first at any session and we will conduct the session accordingly. We ask clients to respect our professional experience and judgment with children, young persons and animals.
Q: "We want performing animals such as birds on mini bikes or those that perform tricks or displays as part of a show, are you suitable?"
A: No. Performing animals in this day and age are no longer considered acceptable. We do not train our animals to 'perform'. Some animals respond to simple commands in order that we can keep everyone safe and remain in control of the animal. We prefer to call what we do 'sessions' as they are not what you could consider a 'show'
Q: "I need an entertainer for my child's party to keep the children busy for a set amount of time while the parents sit back and have a chat. Are you suitable?"
A: No. We are not 'entertainers'. While our sessions are enjoyable and fun the emphasis is on compassion and learning. We expect other adults to come and join in and to help manage the behaviour of their children. If you are looking for child minding, please look elsewhere.
Q: "There are 30 children in my child's class and we need to invite everyone"
A: We completely understand this need, but unfortunately we will not be able to provide you with an encounter for your party.
Q: "We want a really interactive session for our child's party where all the children feel they have been able to participate, are you suitable?"
A: Yes, if you can meet all the conditions of the booking. Every child will get the chance to be completely involved in the session.
Q: "Can you guarantee what animals will come at the time of making the booking?"
A: No. On your booking form you can mention ideas or sorts of animals you'd like to meet. An assessment of the animals and the various requests made by all bookings on a given day as well as health and welfare checks and other information such as travel distances , children's ages, number of children present and weather conditions determines what animals go out where and when. A health and welfare check has to be done on the day, prior to animals being loaded for your event. We ask that you do not make promises to children we are unable to keep. Animal welfare MUST be the priority.
Q: "I want my 5 year old to hold a tarantula"
A: We do not allow young children to directly handle our arachnids. This is both a health & safety and welfare issue.
Q: "Do the children get to cuddle all the animals?"
A: We are very aware of animal welfare concerns about young children holding animals, especially in a party environment. These concerns lead many people to believe that animal encounters are highly unsuitable for such purposes and there are even animal rights organisations that devote much time to campaign to ban such services. Although we ensure every child has the opportunity to touch or observe up close all the animals, we do not guarantee physical handling that could be considered "cuddling". All interaction is entirely at the handlers discretion. A child can very easily fatally injure an animal in mere seconds - they can choke or crush them very easily, even well intentioned children. Other hazards to the animal can include being dropped or having their fur or feathers pulled. We do everything to make sure our animals are never put in a position where these incidents can happen, and ensure we abide by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 by making sure our animals are free from pain and injury and free from fear and distress. We strongly believe children should be taught from an early age to understand that animals are not play things and should not be pulled around at a child's whim. Our gentle and sensitive approach educates children to approach animal interaction in a respectful, dignified and species appropriate manner and ultimately ensures the safety of the child.
Q: "Do you do party bags, games or extras?"
A: No we do not. We concentrate purely on delivering educational and enjoyable animal handling sessions. This also means we can pass on the saving to you. None of your fee will be used to pay for unnecessary items but directly helps support the living costs of the animals. We believe that encounter experiences should steer away from the children's entertainment culture and emphasise the purely educational element of what we do. We do not refer to ourselves as 'entertainers'
Q: "What happens when I make a booking? Will I need to sign something or agree to anything? Is there any "small print" "
A:When you make a booking, you will be issued with a form which includes terms and conditions which MUST be read and AGREED upon before you sign and send back the form. The terms and conditions are not in small print - we want you to read them! The terms and conditions protect your child and the welfare of the animals and the handlers. If you do not agree with the terms, or cannot carry out your responsibilities as outlined in the booking form paperwork, please let us know before taking your booking any further. We cannot issue refunds based on terms and conditions you have agreed upon. It's very important for example, that there are no inflatables or balloons, loud music, inadequate parking facilities or disruptive children. We ask clients to ensure they provide adequate ratios of adults to participate alongside the children. It is not our job to discipline children or organise adult participation. It is made clear on the booking form that this is the client's responsibility. As outlined in the terms, not fulfilling the agreed conditions will affect your session duration.
Q: "I'm looking for a novelty entertainment for my kid's party"
A: We provide enjoyable educational sessions for celebrations of families that love and respect the natural world. For gentle children with a natural affinity and compassion for animals our sessions are ideal. If you are simply looking for an entertainer with a novelty value and are not particularly interested in the animal kingdom on a day to day basis, we are not suitable. We present the animals in a calm and gentle manner without shock tactics, drama or any performance. We do not treat our animals as a commodity. It is doubtful your expectations will be compatible with our ethos.
Q: "My 4 year old loves watching animal cartoons on the telly and asked for animals at his party"
A: It's great when young children seem to show an interest in animals and we certainly want to encourage them! However, there is a very big difference between a cartoon and meeting animals up close in real life - and having to sit quietly and calmly so as not to stress the animals. Little children are unable to completely understand the concept of what they are actually asking for and "I want animals at my party!" should not be acted upon or taken literally purely because it has been demanded. Of course, you know your child the best, so you will need to have a think carefully whether such a session, for such an occasion, will truly be suitable, not just for your child, but any little guests that will be attending. It is YOUR duty to make sure you make a booking responsibly. Consider also other options, such as mascot hire of their favourite cartoon animal or having a general 'animal' theme and asking guests to come in fancy dress.