South Yorkshire animal keepers prepare for a wild night’s sleep

Animal keepers, from left, Laura Martin, Amanda Sharpe and Heather Scott are taking part in the Red Nose Day challenge.
Animal keepers, from left, Laura Martin, Amanda Sharpe and Heather Scott are taking part in the Red Nose Day challenge.
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ANIMAL keepers in South Yorkshire are the spend a night in a dark tropical rainforest environment to raise casg for charity.

Staff at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, North Anston, have set themselves the challenge to raise money for Comic Relief.

They will spend a night at work camping out in the rainforest area, which is home to two 5ft long spectacled caimans, a variety of snakes and lizards and an array of creepy-crawlies from around the world, including tarantula spiders.

Egyptian fruit bats, tropical birds, leaf-cutter ants and a 3ft long green iguana are free to roam around the rainforest.

Members of the team taking part in the challenge will take it in turns to try to sleep on the hard ground of the paths, with only sleeping bags and pillows for comfort, while others keep watch for wandering creatures.

Andrew Reeve, zoo curator who is taking part in the challenge, 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 challenge to minimise disruption to them.

“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 team, visit http://my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/TheZooKeepers and make a donation online, or visit the centre on Red Nose Day, Friday, March 15, and the following weekend to see fundraising events in action and donate in person.