Bloke slams zoo over pricey sandwich and ‘no big animals’ – despite gorillas

A man has slammed a zoo for having "no big animals" – despite it being home to gorillas.

Following a recent visit, Simon Ramsbottom took to TripAdvisor to complain about Bristol Zoo, which remains home to 300 species as it moves sites.

It was not just the attraction's supposed lack of impressive beasts which left the visitor disappointed.

Mr Ramsbottom also objected to "very tired looking" enclosures and forking out "just under £5" for a "stale" cheese sandwich he ended up feeding the birds.

Apparently being charged £4.50 for the privilege of parking at the zoo did not make for an enjoyable experience either, Bristol Live reports.

The zoo has had some mixed reviews on the website in recent months with several visitors expressing disappointment over the animals and the impact of Covid measures.

Meanwhile, others have rallied to its defence.

One review was headed "Still a Wonderful Visit And Doing Their Best Under Difficult Circumstances" and another said: "I think some of the other reviewers are a little harsh."

The zoo's management has said its website makes clear what visitors should expect when they arrive and have explained its plans to relocate to its sister attraction, The Wild Place, which is already home to animals including giraffes and cheetahs.

Mr Ramsbottom's review said: "Very Poor Zoo. On arrival you are met on the car park with a man with his card machine to park for £4.50!!

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"The enclosures are very tired looking and there are many empty ones too.

"The COVID one way system that has been put in place is misleading and the map provided on arrival provides virtually zero information (a black and white print out)."

Mr Ramsbottom continued: "The restaurant was open so could not comment but we used an outdoor food kiosk which was the only other option.

"Just under £5 for a cheese sandwich which I gave to the birds as it was stale bread. There are no big animals only two lions near the entrance.

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"When my wife voiced her opinion to a lady near the exit she thanked us for our feedback and agreed it was poor and maybe people shouldn’t be charged to go in anymore as it was near closing down for a housing development!

"My little boy loves zoos and he said he wanted to go home, say no more!"

James Kitto, head of commercial operations, who is responsible for the visitor experience, said: "We are sorry to hear that one of our visitors was disappointed with their recent visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens.

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"Our website is clear about what visitors may expect during their trip, in terms of the animals and also the restrictions that are in place due to COVID.

"We have worked very hard to ensure that we are COVID compliant, whilst ensuring as little negative impact on visitor experience as possible.

"However, we encourage visitors who do encounter a problem to bring it to the attention of staff so that whenever possible, we are able to resolve any issues a visitor may have, during their visit.

Mr Kitto added that the zoo had "more than 300 species of animals" on-site, "from gorillas, lions, meerkats and lemurs, to penguins, seals, flamingos and giant tortoises".

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