Santa Claus makes a wild return to Telford Exotic Zoo
Santa has returned to Telford Exotic Zoo for another year of festive cheer.
This week has seen Telford Exotic Zoo welcome two new arrivals - a blue and gold macaw called Captain, and a well-known jolly man in red. Fortunately for Father Christmas, his exhibit is a little less temporary.
Elves at the Town Park attraction are working overtime to get ready to throw open the doors of Santa's grotto for another year this weekend.
Owner Scott Adams said Santa's return was a highlight of the winter season.
"It's always so nice to welcome Santa back for another year, his grotto is looking so lovely and festive and we're really excited to give a bit of Christmas joy at the zoo," he added.
The grotto will be open every weekend in December and every day from Monday, December 18.
This year also sees the return of Breakfast with Santa, where children are invited to eat a bacon butty with the big man (other options are available).
The zoo's Jungle Cafe will also be serving a range of Christmassy treats throughout the festive period, including Black Forest hot chocolate and salted caramel and gingerbread lattes.
Scott said the festive cheer marked an optimistic end to what he described as the zoo's most difficult year so far.
"This year has been our hardest yet," he said. "We're making the least we've ever made. With the [Covid] pandemic and the rising costs of everything, it's been really tough.
"People are struggling with the cost of living and since the pandemic everyone is being more careful with their money.
"We've always wanted to keep our prices low so the zoo is accessible, and we want to keep doing that. We understand that people are hard up, so keeping our prices low will hopefully help people out."
Booking for Santa's Grotto is available on the zoo's website at: exoticzoo.co.uk.