TV presenter and adventurer Steve Backshall swooped on Whipsnade Zoo for his first flying session with Harris hawk Tulsa.
Steve, star of CBBC’s popular Deadly series, put the 12-year-old bird through his paces and met some of the other stars of his forthcoming Deadly Aerial Assassins shows, which will be hosted at the zoo for the first time from May 3-5.
Tulsa, who stands about a foot tall, was encouraged to glide and dive by Steve, who also got nose to beak with bald eagle Apache, the biggest bird in the show, and Lanner falcon Lenny.
Steve said: “People engage with the things they can get right up close with, and here in the Deadly Aerial Assassins shows at Whipsnade Zoo you can do just that with these incredible birds of prey. There is no better way to inspire people about wildlife.
“The people that learn to love wildlife are the very same people who are going to want to protect and preserve it, and for me it’s incredibly important to do shows like these to achieve that.”
The weekend’s performances will launch a summer of Deadly activities at the zoo, where mini-adventurers will be able to take part in the Deadly Explorer Trail and learn to become wildlife detectives.
Deadly Aerial Assassins will be an exhilarating display of some of the world’s most incredible birds including hawks, eagles and owls, and will take place four times a day over the long bank holiday weekend.
Tickets for the shows are included in the entry cost for Whipsnade Zoo, but must be confirmed in advance. Places are limited so visit www.zsl.org/deadly to save your spot.