Oxfordshire, England OX18 4JW

Cotswold Wildlife Park is teaming up with RAF Brize Norton for a weekend of events to celebrate Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25th June. The Park will also be honouring animal heroes throughout history by highlighting the incredible part they have played (and are still playing!) in saving countless lives.

Supporting the event over the entire weekend, Cotswold Wildlife Park is proud to welcome military working dogs and RAF personnel from local base RAF Brize Norton on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June. There will also be a golden coin collection to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Anita Jack, Deputy Media Officer at RAF Brize Norton, says: "We are delighted to be a part of Cotswold Wildlife Park's activities this weekend to raise awareness for Armed Forces Day, which supports the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. Visitors will get the chance to meet and greet RAF personnel and hopefully learn about the vital role RAF Brize Norton play in support of Operations in Afghanistan and Libya.”

Animals In War - Animals throughout history have played a vital role in wartime. The military deployed millions of animals in the theatres of conflict. Their roles varied from carrying secrets, ferrying supplies, carrying troops and rescuing injured people trapped in the rubble of bombed buildings. All creatures, great and small, played their part. Elephants, dogs, horses, pigeons, camels, cats, canaries and even glow worms made a contribution in times of war to the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces.

A memorial stands in London dedicated to all the animals that served and lost their lives in these wars. The sheer numbers of animals to have died is staggering. Some eight million horses alone were killed by explosions, bullets, disease, explosure or starvation between 1914 and 1918.

Animal Heroes - Cotswold Wildlife Park will be highlighting animal heroes throughout history around the Park and encouraging children from across Oxfordshire to nominate their ‘Animal Hero’. The winning entry will win a visit from a keeper to their school and an ‘Animal Hero’ themed goodie bag too. Forms can be downloaded from www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk or collected on the day at the Armed Forces stand.

NOTE: RAF Brize Norton personel and military dogs will be located outside the Manor House main entrance from 1.30pm to 3.30pm Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June.

Cotswold Wildlife Park opens its doors at 10am every day†, with last admission at 4.30pm††

Added by Armed Forces Day on June 24, 2011

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