Animal trainer who lived with vultures for 48 hours says his two-day sleepover ‘exceeded expectations’

Animal trainer Peter McLaren will live with vultures in the vulture enclosure at Banham Zoo for 48 h

Animal trainer Peter McLaren will live with vultures in the vulture enclosure at Banham Zoo for 48 hours.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Animal trainer and presenter Peter McLaren said spending 48 hours living with vultures in their enclosure at Banham Zoo exceeded his expectations.

Animal trainer Peter McLaren will live with vultures in the vulture enclosure at Banham Zoo for 48 h

Animal trainer Peter McLaren will live with vultures in the vulture enclosure at Banham Zoo for 48 hours.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The 23-year-old, who is from Attleborough, came up with the idea of staying with the vultures – only leaving for toilet and food breaks – to raise awareness of the birds and much-needed money for conservation projects.

Mr McLaren, who has worked at the zoo for almost seven years, said: 'The weather took a turn for the worst and it was atrocious. My tarpaulin came off and I got soaked. But it exceeded my expectation. I could hear the tigers roaring and the tawny owls calling at night. It was quite exciting.'

The trainer was raising money for the GYPS Restoration Project in Pakistan, which aims to help one of the most critically endangered vulture species, the Oriental white-backed vulture. It is estimated more than 99pc of its former population have died over the last 30 years.

'People are aware of animals such as tigers dying out,' said Mr McLaren. 'But because vultures are perceived as ugly and dirty animals people do not know that some species are declining. We had a lot of support and people came and asked questions about the vultures. We have raised £2,000 so far.'

For more information about the vultures at the zoo and to donate to Peter McLaren's fundraising visit www.banhamzoo.co.uk

Are you taking part in a challenge for charity? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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