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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 09:00 GMT
Town zoo offers nursery education
Nursery at Blackpool Zoo
The nursery is thought to be the first of its kind
Animal-loving children in Lancashire can now get closer to some of nature's biggest beasts - at nursery.

Blackpool Zoo is opening a day nursery in a former office building for up to 66 children aged three months to four-years-old.

The A-Zoo Nursery, which overlooks the elephant paddock, is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Zoo owner Grant Leisure said it hoped the nursery would prove to be an asset to the local community.

Staff excited

As well as parents who work in the zoo, the facility hopes to attract people from the Blackpool community and nearby hospital.

Manager Jane McMillan said the Ofsted registered nursery would be using animal experts as part of its education programme.

In addition to promoting conservation, staff would holding talks and bring in animals for the children to see, she said.

"Everyone is so excited about this new venture," said Mrs McMillan.

"There aren't many nurseries in the world that have 32 acres in their back garden - well definitely be making use of those facilities.

"How many children can see a tiger in their back garden? We're zoo-nique."

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