Thinking about booking a private animal encounter as part of a celebration for children?
Amazing Animal Encounters are happy to consider bookings for small groups of children celebrating a special occasion but 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, is put away early or cannot be interacted with as much as you were hoping, it is not the fault of the handler or the animal.
- You will need to think carefully about whether you can provide a suitable environment to host live animals. Think especially about noise levels, accessibility and your ability to manage the behaviour of a group of excited children
Q: "We want animals that perform tricks or displays as part of a show, are you suitable?"
A: No. It is generally accepted in the UK now that animals performing tricks that are not natural behaviours are no longer acceptable or reasonable. 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 provide educational or therapeutic, interactive sessions, not shows.
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. Every child will get the chance to touch or observe up close every animal we bring, dependent on their ability and the handler's discretion.
Q: "Can you guarantee what animals will come at the time of making the booking?"
A: No. An assessment of the animals and health and welfare checks and other information such as travel distances, children's ages, number of children present and weather conditions determines what animals can attend sessions on any one day. The 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: "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 against them. 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: "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. 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.
Q: "Do you do party bags, games or extras?"
A: No. 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.
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.