Five Sisters Zoo, located in West Lothian, UK, is a popular destination for animal lovers of all ages. The zoo is home to over 180 different species, including big cats, primates, birds, and reptiles. Visitors can get up close and personal with the animals and learn about their habitats and behaviours.

Founded in 2005, Five Sisters Zoo has become a beloved attraction in West Lothian. The zoo is committed to animal welfare and conservation, and works closely with local and international organisations to protect endangered species. In addition to its animal exhibits, the zoo also offers educational programs and events for schools and families.

History and Location

Five Sisters Zoo is located in West Calder, West Lothian, Scotland. The zoo was established in 2005 by Brian and Shirley Curran, who started with just five retired circus elephants. The zoo is named after these five elephants, named Assam, Indi, Karla, Mali and Suraya.

Over the years, the zoo has expanded to include a wide variety of animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and many more. The zoo is now home to over 180 different species of animals, making it one of the largest and most diverse zoos in Scotland.

The zoo is located on a 23-acre site, and features a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as a petting zoo and a play area for children. Visitors can also enjoy a range of educational talks and animal encounters, as well as a café and gift shop.

Getting to the zoo is easy, with ample parking available on-site. The zoo is also accessible by public transport, with regular bus services running from West Calder and other nearby towns. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the area, Five Sisters Zoo is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in animals and wildlife.

Animal Exhibits

The Five Sisters Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from all over the world. The zoo has a range of animal exhibits that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Here are some of the animal exhibits that you can enjoy at the Five Sisters Zoo:

Mammals

The mammal exhibit at the Five Sisters Zoo is home to a variety of animals, including lions, bears, and donkeys. Visitors can watch these majestic creatures play, eat, and interact with each other in their natural habitats. The zookeepers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about these animals.

Birds

The bird exhibit at the Five Sisters Zoo is home to a wide variety of birds from all over the world. Visitors can watch these beautiful creatures fly, sing, and interact with each other in their natural habitats. The zookeepers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about these animals.

Reptiles

The reptile exhibit at the Five Sisters Zoo is home to a range of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and turtles. Visitors can watch these fascinating creatures slither, crawl, and swim in their natural habitats. The zookeepers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about these animals.

Visitor Experience

At Five Sisters Zoo West Lothian, visitors can expect an enjoyable and educational experience. The zoo offers a range of activities and events that cater to visitors of all ages.

Keeper Talks

One of the highlights of the zoo is the keeper talks. Visitors can learn about the animals and their habitats from the knowledgeable and passionate keepers. The talks are informative and interactive, allowing visitors to ask questions and engage with the keepers. The talks are a great way to learn more about the animals and their behaviours.

Handling Sessions

For those who want a more hands-on experience, the zoo offers handling sessions. Visitors can get up close and personal with some of the animals and learn more about their characteristics and behaviours. The handling sessions are a great way to learn about the animals in a unique and memorable way.

Facilities

Cafe

Five Sisters Zoo has a lovely cafe where visitors can enjoy a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. The cafe is open daily and offers both indoor and outdoor seating areas. There is also a children’s menu available.

Gift Shop

The gift shop at Five Sisters Zoo offers a range of souvenirs, toys, and gifts for visitors to take home with them. From cuddly toys to t-shirts, there is something for everyone. The gift shop is open daily during zoo opening hours.

Picnic Areas

There are several picnic areas located throughout the zoo, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a packed lunch or snack in a beautiful outdoor setting. Tables and benches are available in shaded areas, and there are also grassy areas available for picnicking.

Outdoor Play Area

Children can burn off some energy in the outdoor play area, which features a range of play equipment suitable for children of all ages. The play area is located near the picnic areas and is open daily during zoo opening hours.

Car Park

Five Sisters Zoo has a large car park with plenty of spaces available for visitors. The car park is located close to the zoo entrance and is free to use for all visitors.

Overall, Five Sisters Zoo offers a range of facilities to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable and comfortable experience. From the cafe and gift shop to the outdoor play area and picnic areas, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Special Events and Offers

Illumination

Five Sisters Zoo offers a unique experience during the winter months with their Illumination event. Visitors can enjoy the zoo’s festive atmosphere with Christmas decorations and lights, as well as special animal talks and feeding sessions. The event runs from November to January and is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Season Pass

For frequent visitors, the zoo offers a season pass that allows unlimited entry for a year. This pass can be used for regular visits as well as special events like the Illumination. The pass also comes with additional perks such as discounts on food and merchandise, making it a great value for animal lovers.

Conservation and Education

Five Sisters Zoo is committed to conservation and education, as evidenced by its various initiatives and programs. Here are some of the ways the zoo promotes conservation and education:

  • Conservation: Five Sisters Zoo is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). These memberships demonstrate the zoo’s dedication to conservation efforts and its commitment to upholding high standards of animal welfare. The zoo also participates in various breeding programs, including those for endangered species such as the Scottish wildcat and the European lynx.
  • Education: The zoo offers a range of educational programs and resources for visitors of all ages. These include guided tours, talks, and workshops on topics such as animal care, conservation, and biodiversity. The zoo also has an education centre that hosts school groups and provides hands-on learning experiences. In addition, the zoo has an online learning platform, which offers a range of educational resources for teachers and students.
  • Community Outreach: Five Sisters Zoo is actively involved in its local community and works to raise awareness about conservation issues. The zoo participates in local events and initiatives, such as the West Lothian Environmental Network, and works with local schools to provide educational resources and opportunities. The zoo also partners with other organizations, such as the Scottish SPCA and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, to promote conservation and animal welfare.

Online Presence

Social Media

Five Sisters Zoo has an active presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where they share regular updates about the animals, events, and other news related to the zoo. They have a Facebook page with over 50,000 followers, where they post pictures and videos of the animals, as well as information about upcoming events and activities.

On Twitter, they have over 3,000 followers, and they use the platform to share quick updates about the zoo. They also have an Instagram account with over 7,000 followers, where they share pictures and videos of the animals and the zoo’s surroundings.

Comments

Five Sisters Zoo encourages visitors to leave comments and reviews on their social media pages and other online platforms, such as TripAdvisor and Google Maps. They value feedback from their visitors and use it to improve their services and facilities.

They respond to comments and messages on their social media pages promptly and professionally, addressing any concerns or queries that visitors may have. They also use social media to engage with their followers and create a sense of community among animal lovers and visitors to the zoo.

Covid-19 Measures

Five Sisters Zoo West Lothian has implemented several measures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Pre-booking

All visitors are required to pre-book their tickets online to ensure that the zoo can manage the number of visitors and maintain social distancing. The zoo has limited the number of visitors allowed in the park at any given time to ensure that social distancing measures can be maintained.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are mandatory for all visitors over the age of 11, except for those who are exempt. Visitors are required to wear face coverings in all indoor areas, including indoor animal exhibits, shops, and toilets.

Social Distancing

The zoo has implemented social distancing measures throughout the park. Visitors are reminded to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from others outside their group. The zoo has also installed barriers and signage to help visitors maintain social distancing.

Enhanced Cleaning

The zoo has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the park, especially in high-touch areas such as toilets, handrails, and benches. Hand sanitizing stations are also available throughout the park for visitors to use.

Staff Training

All staff members have received training on Covid-19 safety measures and are required to follow strict protocols to ensure the safety of visitors and other staff members.

Nearby Attractions

If you’re visiting Five Sisters Zoo West Lothian, there are plenty of nearby attractions to explore. Here are some of the top options:

Garden Centre

If you’re looking for a relaxing place to spend an afternoon, head to the nearby garden centre. They offer a wide range of plants, gardening tools, and accessories. You can also find gift items such as candles, soaps, and home decor. The garden centre is a great place to find inspiration for your own garden or to pick up a unique gift for a friend or family member who loves gardening.

They also have a pet section where you can find a variety of pet supplies, including food, toys, and grooming products. If you’re looking for a new pet, they have a selection of small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. However, it’s important to do your research before getting a new pet to ensure that you can provide the proper care and attention they need.

In addition to the garden and pet sections, the garden centre also has a cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake. The cafe offers a range of sandwiches, soups, and salads as well.