London Zoo has been urged to review its programme of late night party events after concerns were raised about their impact on animal welfare.
It's claimed that animals are being put under unnecessary stress because of noise and disruptive behaviour at the Friday night 'Zoo Lates' sessions, which run from 6pm to 10pm.
In one incident a reveler spilled beer into an enclosure, landing on a male tiger. There have also been reports of people trying to enter animal enclosures. On another occasion, a group of party-goers cracked the glass on a snake's cage.
Will Travers from the Born Free Foundation says the Zoo should urgently reevaluate its late night sessions, putting animal welfare first. He isn't a big fan of zoos in the first place (and the organisation is opposed to them on principle) but he finds the idea of a party in a zoo, with alcohol, completely incompatible with the aim of animal conservation.
The Zoo advertises the summer events as 'London's wildest night out' . In addition to food and drink they also feature comedy and a 'silent disco' where visitors listen to music through headphones.
In 2012 London Zoo released this promotional video for the events:
A spokesman for London Zoo said:
We would not continue with any event that would compromise the animals' welfare. Their safety is our number one priority.
They added that only three people had been asked to leave Zoo Lates events because of inappropriate behaviour in the last two years and that animals were not being caused undue stress or trauma.