Love was in the air at Drusillas Park when a man proposed to his girlfriend at the weekend – with a little help from the zoo’s resident penguins,
Grant Smith and Sarah Veasey, from Harlow in Essex drove down to Drusillas early on Friday morning (December 8) for Sarah’s birthday present – a Penguin Feeding Experience.
Grant had already pre-arranged for zoo keeper Sam Kenward to incorporate the proposal into his penguin talk. So, as Sam finished his talk, he turned to the crowd of onlookers and asked, “Does anyone have any questions? Well, I know that one person in particular has a very special question. Grant?”
Grant dropped down onto one knee behind Sarah and gave her a nudge to turn around. “Seeing Grant on one knee she flung her hands to her face and excitedly exclaimed “Yes!,” said a zoo spokesperson.
The crowd erupted into applause, and Grant’s family – who had been watching nervously – cheered as the couple hugged and celebrated their new engagement.
Grant’s mum Jane said, “Sarah had no idea what was going to happen today. She thought they were just having a day out at the zoo together. We were so excited for our Grant to propose! They’ve been together for 10 years so he’s taken long enough!”
Head keeper Mark Kenward said, “It has been a real pleasure helping Grant with his proposal.
“Our penguins were absolutely delighted to be a part of their special moment. We are thrilled it all went so smoothly and we hope they will always look back on the day with fond memories.”
Slasher the rockhopper penguin had been particularly interested in helping out with the marriage proposal.
Much to Sarah’s delight he stood right by her side for the entire encounter, happily flapping his flippers and nudging fish from her hand, even attempting to snatch a few fish whilst Sarah was being proposed to.