Newquay Zoo staff are thrilled and excited to be hosting the first ever International Owl and Pussycat Day on 12th May.

Help us celebrate the 200th birthday of Edward Lear at this birthday Bosh event - where you can have a go at writing your own crazy limericks, making your own beard and creating your own utterly nonsensical botanical plants.

Mark Norris, Head of Education said; ‘‘“From childhood onwards I’ve always liked the strange worlds and bizarre humour of Edward Lear, and I was surprised at how good an artist he was.”

“Edward Lear is best known today for these fabulous and funny nonsense poems like The Owl and Pussycat with his strange and unique cartoon illustrations of strange people and animals, especially his beloved cat Foss. Many people forget that Lear was also a talented painter of animals and landscapes around the world including Cornwall. Some of his Cornish landscape drawings we hope will be on display in Cornwall for the first time at Falmouth Art Gallery later in the year. Lear also engraved and painted amazingly lively portraits of animals in early zoos like London Zoo and Knowsley Hall (now the Safari Park).”

Along with many Lear enthusiasts, the team at Newquay Zoo hope to encourage many people to celebrate Lear’s 200th birthday on May 12th.

Lorraine Reid, Events Manager said: ‘‘We’re delighted to be part of many events taking place across the globe, from Newquay and Falmouth in Cornwall, to Wales and even America! On this special day visitors to the Zoo will be able to see prints of Edward Lear’s animal paintings, take a tour of the Nonsense Trail which features Lear’s poems and illustrations, and read the Owl and the Pussycat poem translated into many languages including Cornish. Fun arts and crafts will be taking place throughout the day – a highlight being an opportunity to make your own ‘Lear Beard’ – and you can enjoy some special birthday cake made specially to celebrate the occasion.’’

Hundreds of versions of the Owl and the Pussycat poem were collected by Cornishman Hugh Stewart (1910-2011) and some of these versions can be seen at Newquay Zoo. You can see what events are planned on, and keep up to date with the latest education nonsense on our new blog

Quotes Throughly enjoyed our visit to Newquay zoo, there was plenty to see! Quotes