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Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity and Woburn Safari Park fulfil nine-year-old’s wish to be a zookeeper for the day

Bethany fulfilling her wish to be a zookeeper for the day at Woburn Safari Park with Rays of Sunshine (1)

A seriously ill nine-year-old girl from Burntwood, Staffordshire, had her greatest wish granted to become a Zookeeper for the day thanks to Rays of Sunshine (www.raysofsunshine.org.uk) and Woburn Safari Park (http://www.woburnsafari.co.uk/).

Nine-year-old Bethany, from Staffordshire, is currently living with Wilm’s Tumours, a rare cancer of the Kidney, after being diagnosed in August 2015. Due to her condition, Bethany has needed to undergo Chemotherapy as well as surgery for treatment. She is now required to have regular check-ups and scans at the hospital. Despite what she has been through, Bethany has remained resilient and brave throughout. She is a big fan of animals and this was the inspiration for her greatest wish.

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To make her greatest wish come true, Rays of Sunshine enlisted the help of Woburn Safari Park, who didn’t hesitate to organise for Bethany to have a VIP experience, which included a range of exciting, zookeeper-themed activities. The nine-year-old started her day with the Lorikeets, colourful parrots, checking-up on them and feeding them breakfast. She then joined the team mucking out the Ponies and Donkeys, before embarking on an exhilarating Land Rover safari ride to see her favourite animals, Giraffes. Following this, Bethany was given the opportunity to enter the Meerkat enclosure and spend some time feeding them.

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Another exciting addition to Bethany’s wish was the time spent with the Madagascan Primates, including Lemurs who enjoy climbing on their guests’ shoulders. To finish off a fantastic day, Bethany was kindly treated to a meet and greet with one of Woburn’s biggest animals, an Elephant! Her special day gave the nine-year-old the opportunity to forget about her illness for a short while and to feel like a true VIP.

After her wish, Bethany’s mother, Rebecca, commented:

Bethany had a fantastic day at Woburn! She loved every minute of it. Thank you so much Rays of Sunshine and Woburn Safari Park for making her wish come true.”

Bob Streatfeild, Head of VIP Experiences at Woburn Safari Park, commented:

Bethany was a delightful VIP guest and it was an honour to show such a brave young lady around the park for the day.  The best part of my job is seeing the looks my guests’ faces as they meet the beautiful wild animals that live at the Safari Park and Bethany clearly had a brilliant time. She made a fantastic ‘Keeper for the Day’ and was a big help with the mucking out and feeding!”