From dusk till dawn at Butterfly House

Animal keepers Laura Martin, Amanda Sharpe and Heather Scott will be taking part in the challenge

Animal keepers Laura Martin, Amanda Sharpe and Heather Scott will be taking part in the challenge

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Brave animal keepers from the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre will spend the night in a dark, tropical rainforest environment to raise money for Comic Relief.

On Thursday 14th March at 7pm, the keepers will begin the Dusk Till Dawn Butterfly House Challenge and set up camp in the indoor Butterfly House, not leaving until 6am the following morning.

The Butterfly House is home to two spectacled caimans, various snakes and lizards and an array of creepy-crawlies from around the world, including Tarantulas.

Most of the scariest creatures will be safely inside their enclosures, but the Egyptian fruit bats, tropical birds, leaf-cutter ants and iguana are free to roam.

Members of the team will take it in turns to try and sleep on the hard ground of the paths, with only sleeping bags and pillows for comfort; whilst others keep watch for wandering creatures. The temperature inside the Butterfly House reaches up to approximately 28 degrees Celsius during the day with 70% humidity but drops to a more comfortable 18 degrees at night with the lights off.

On Red Nose Day itself – Friday 15th March – the centre will be open from 11am, with fundraising going on throughout the day.

Red Nose Day cupcakes will be on sale in the Butterfly Café, and staff will be sponsored to spend the day in fancy dress or pyjamas.

Visitors will also be able to watch one lucky staff member spend an hour in Meerkat Mansion, dressed in a Meerkat costume.

Zoo curator and manager Andrew Reeve said: “I am thrilled with the enthusiasm showed by our team of staff at the Butterfly House about raising funds for Comic Relief and I’ll be doing my bit to raise money too, by spending one hour inside the caiman enclosure on Red Nose Day.”

“These carnivorous reptiles are potentially very dangerous, so I will endeavour to sit quite still for the duration of the challenge to minimise the disruption to the Caimans.”

“We hope our visitors will be compelled to sponsor us for the various activities taking place and donate generously to Comic Relief.”

To sponsor the zoo Keepers visit www.my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/TheZooKeepers where you can make a donation online, or visit the centre on Red Nose Day and donate in person.