Chester Zoo is to stay open as the sun sets later this summer. 

The zoo’s new Afterglow event will offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the zoo and encounter 37,000 animals in a completely different light.

With tickets now on sale at up to half the price of a standard day ticket, the evenings will take place on exclusive dates between 13-25 August, from 3pm-8pm, while zoo members can go free as long as they book in advance.

The incentive is similar to the zoo's previous, and popular, Into the Night events which were held the past couple of years.

Conservationists at the zoo say Afterglow will offer a “rare opportunity” to observe animals during what is, for many, one of their most active periods just before dusk.

Visitors will also be treated to live entertainment, games and activities, as well as food and drink.

All proceeds are in support of the charity zoo’s vital conservation work, at home and overseas.

Anna Barker, Chester Zoo’s senior marketing manager, said: "Many will know what a special place the zoo is by day, but fewer have experienced it as the sun starts to set.

“This summer, across two special weeks in August, we’re giving people the opportunity to experience the zoo in a whole new way, and an entirely different light. 

"Afterglow will be a special chance to explore the zoo when it’s usually closed for the evening, and to surround themselves with 37,000 amazing animals as darkness starts to fall.

"You may get see snow leopards Yashin and Nubra on the prowl through their Himalayan habitat at dusk, or the Asian elephants taking an evening dip at the watering hole, or watch birds as they begin to return to their roosts before dark.

“We’re really keen for families, friends and couples to make a real evening of it and so, as if the unforgettable animal experiences aren’t enough, there will also be spectacular live music and dance entertainment, as well as other fun activities, games and a tasty selection of food and drink options being freshly prepared and served up.

“Most importantly though, every ticket purchased contributes to the zoo’s vital conservation work globally, supporting us in our efforts to make the world a better and safer place for wildlife.

"It’s a wonderful evening out, which also does good for nature.”

A limited number of tickets are available each evening, with prices starting from £20 for adults and £13 for children (3-17 years old).

Zoo members receive free entry and need to pre-book. All areas of the zoo will be open, including animal habitats, tropical houses, walkthrough bird aviaries and restaurants.

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