Zookeeper plans to walk from London to Bedfordshire to celebrate Whipsnade's 90th birthday

To celebrate the landmark Rosie will be walking 35 miles

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:30 am

A zookeeper will be walking between the Zoological Society of London's two zoos this weekend to celebrate Whipsnade's 90th birthday.

Rosie Turner a large hoofstock keeper at Whipsnade Zoo, wanted to do something to raise money for ZSL - and the zoo's upcoming birthday this month gave her the perfect opportunity.

On Sunday, May 23, - Whipsnade Zoo's 90th birthday - the 39-year-old will be walking 35 miles from London Zoo to Whipsnade Zoo.

Rosie is raising money for ZSL

Rosie, who looks after rhinos, giraffes, hippos, zebras, bison and some of the antelope, has worked at Whipsnade Zoo for the last ten years and is very passionate about the zoo and all the animals.

She has set up a fundraising page - Walking Zoo to Zoo on Whipsnade's 90th Birthday - and has already raised £1,375 of her £2,305 target.

She said: "This year, on the 23rd of May, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will be celebrating its 90th birthday. So, what better day to complete the challenge and raise some much needed funds for the place my family and countless others love and enjoy so much.

"I will be walking from London Zoo to Whipsnade Zoo in one day, it's about 35 miles, and we are planning for it to be about 12 hours, including breaks.

Rosie will be walking 35 miles from London Zoo to Whipsnade Zoo

"I'll be leaving London zoo at 4.30am and hoping to get Whipsnade for about 4.30pm, before it closes.

"I love walking and staying active and thought May would be a good month to do something like this as the weather's normally not too bad and it's light earlier, and then when I realised what birthday it was, it all fell into place.

"I grew up in Dunstable and have been coming here since I was little. It has been close to my heart all my life.

"I did work experience here, I worked in the gift shop and I always wanted to be a zoo keeper.

Rosie is hoping to raise £2,305

"I volunteered as a zoo keeper and then did seasonal work while at university. When I finished university a job came up full time and I have been ever since. I love this place and just wanted to do something to help.

"ZSL has been a big part of my life going right back to visiting as a child and now I bring my own family."

Rosie, from Leighton Buzzard, has never walked this far in 12 hours so it is going to be a big challenge for her.

She added: "ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos need to get their 22,000 amazing animals fed and cared for throughout the COVID 19 crisis.

"ZSL has lost £20 million of income in 2020 and this has continued during the closure this year too. As a charity ZSL relies on funds from supporters and visitors."