The Zoo hosted its 13th annual Neighbours' Night with over 1,800 community members welcomed to the wild party on Thursday 25 January.

Face painting

Face painting at Neighbours' Night

Every year Wellington Zoo invites its immediate neighbours, including Wellington City Council housing tenants, to visit the Zoo for free after hours.

“This is my favourite event of the year as it is always great to meet our neigbours and welcome them to the Zoo,” says Chief Executive, Karen Fifield MNZM. “Some of our neighbours may not otherwise be able to afford to come to the Zoo, and we love hosting this evening event to support our local community.”

Sun Bear costume

Kids meet a friendly Sun Bear

Wellington Zoo’s neighbours were able to explore the Zoo after hours and get up close to some the Zoo’s animal residents and experience special animal talks.

“It’s a great time for our neighbours to come and learn about the animals that they live near. The evening is always filled with fun, with a free sausage sizzle, face painting, activities for the kids, and animal talks from keepers,” says Karen.

“We often get members of our community coming in wanting to know which animal makes the sounds that wake them up in the mornings! They can thank our White Cheeked Gibbons for the early wake up call - they sing a unique duet most mornings.”

The evening was run with the help of Wellington City Housing, Wellington Zoo staff, volunteers from the Zoo and the Zoo’s partner Trade Me who all donated their time to ensure the evening ran smoothly.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better evening, the sun was shining, everyone had a great time and our neighbours left with big smiles on their faces. As always, it’s a fantastic way to start the New Year,” says Karen.

J005401 0715

J005401 0456

J005401 0086

J005401 0414