Can you escape the Traders’ Trap?

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Guests visiting Paignton Zoo can step into the murky world of the illegal wildlife trade in Torbay’s newest escape room experience – the Traders’ Trap.

When school groups, families and friends take the challenge, they’ll find themselves in an abandoned warehouse on the trail of smuggled wildlife, solving clues and puzzles before the traders return…and the clock is ticking.

Paignton Zoo informal learning coordinator Jo Clark: “We’ve taken the idea of the escape room, where teams work together to solve clues, overcome challenges and escape from a room within the allotted time, and themed it around a very real conservation issue – the illegal wildlife trade.

“As well as being great fun, The Traders’ Trap has been designed to highlight the issues surrounding the illegal trade in exotic species. It’s a conservation challenge that the zoo and our parent charity, Wild Planet Trust, are keen to highlight.”

Head of Education Steve Nash: “Many species are threatened by the illegal wildlife trade, and we are always looking for ways to raise awareness of this issue. Our escape room shows people that conservation can be complicated. It also highlights our belief that if people work together, they can achieve great results for the wildlife and wild places we’re trying to protect.”

The Traders’ Trap provides a fantastic alternative learning experience for visiting school groups. Steve again: “The escape room is a great activity for school groups – we’d say it’s perfect for any group from Year 7 up. It encourages teamwork, critical analysis, problem solving and abstract thinking, all the while thinking about a real world problem.”

The Traders’ Trap escape room has been developed by the Paignton Zoo informal learning team. Steve: “I’m really proud of what they’ve achieved. They’ve put in a huge amount of effort and we have had teams of zoo staff queuing up to try it for us!”

Selected dates are now available for booking. Teachers can contact the Paignton Zoo education team for further info, although be warned – you’re expected to join in! Teams of families and friends are also welcome to book.

Paignton Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go to or ring 01803 697500.

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