Ssss-anta’s Claus slithers into Leeds

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Meet Sammy, the Red-tailed Boa constrictor.

Visitors to Tropical World in Leeds can meet Sammy and his exotic friends next week as the popular Totally Tropical Christmas returns.

Sammy, the Red-tailed Boa constrictor.

Sammy, the Red-tailed Boa constrictor.

Forget reindeers with red noses – snakes, meerkats and three Morelet crocodiles will be the stars as Roundhay Park’s Tropical World is transformed into a yuletide celebration with a Caribbean twist.

Running from 5pm until 8pm between December 19 and 21, the venue and nearby Canal Gardens will be illuminated in festive lights and there will be indoor snow and a steel band playing calypso carols.

All children who attend Totally Tropical Christmas will also receive a present.

Visitors will also be able to see the famous residents of Tropical World – including the crocodiles, rare albino Burmese python, Yellow Anaconda, Red-tailed Boa constrictor, Bearded Dragon and the ever-popular meerkats

Coun Jack Dunn, the council’s deputy executive member for the environment, said: “Totally Tropical Christmas has become a much-loved part of the festive season in Leeds and gets more and popular each year.

“Tropical World and Canal Gardens look fantastic all lit up and there is a really fun atmosphere for all the family to enjoy, so we are very much looking forward to it once again.”

Tropical World is to undergo a major refurbishment next year, with a £720,000 revamp that includes a new crocodile enclosure and aquarium along with children’s party space plus extended café, new shop and toilets.

The improvements will be funded by the council and a donation from the Ziff family. Their long-standing patronage dates back to the 1980s when Leeds businessman Arnold Ziff donated a substantial sum to help develop the attraction displaying tropical plants and animals. Prices are £3.90 or £3.15 for any LEEDSCard or Breezecard holders. Last admission is at 7.30pm.


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