Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex brought their kids, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, along on a visit to the Bristol Zoo.
Edward is Patron of the Bristol Zoological Society and he was there to officially open the new Mahali Pori exhibit. The new exhibit is located in Wild Place Project, an extension to Bristol Zoo, and houses three cheetahs. The exhibit will help raise awareness of conservation for the cheetah, of which there are fewer than 10,000 in the wild.
Wild Place hopes to inspire families to enjoy nature while discovering wildlife from the UK and around the world with an emphasis on protecting threatened habitats.
During the two hour visit, Edward met with the zoological society to hear more on their work to save wildlife through conservation.
Edward, Sophie, Louise, and James were given a tour of the park where they fed meerkats. James decided to put some crickets down Edward’s back instead of feeding them to the animals.
Edward and Sophie’s reactions.
The family also viewed the lemur enclosure.
The Wessexes also met Afia, a nine-week-old baby Western lowland gorilla. Afia was born in February via an emergency cesarean section – a procedure which has rarely been carried out on gorillas. Afia is being hand-reared by a round-the-clock team of experienced gorilla keepers at the zoo and is doing well.
A royal source said:
“The whole family thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The Earl has been patron of the Bristol Zoological Society for three years and has been very impressed by their education and conservation programmes. Both he and the Countess were keen to show their children the effort places like Wild Place Project put into conserving endangered animals. They were all fascinated by the cheetahs and the children really enjoyed feeding the lemurs and the meerkats.”
PS. Sophie also brought Louise to another engagement on April 16. Sophie, as President of Girlguiding, opened their newly refurbished head office in London.
Sophie wore her red Sportmax “Maesa” coat (which is damn expensive at £1,065.00) she wore to Easter service, while Louise wore her Girlguiding uniform.