A ZOO offered a rare glimpse of the beasts that lurk inside its walls during a 'magical' weekend for all the family.

Heythrop Zoological Gardens, home to animal training company Amazing Animals, threw open its doors for just the second and third times this year for its family days.

Visitors got up close and personal with creatures ranging from kangaroos and camels to lions and lemurs through talks, rides, demonstrations and more.

The stars of the show have featured in films and television series including Holmes and Watson, The Legend of Tarzan and Dr Who, with the open days providing a behind the scenes peek.

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Jim Clubb, who runs Amazing Animals, said: “Because of the dynamic of Heythrop Zoological Gardens, we chose not to become a public zoo. We are first and foremost an animal training centre.

Oxford Mail:

"However, for only a few days every year we get the chance to welcome our supporters into our home, where they get to meet our trainers and their feathery, furry and scaly charge up close.

"It is a magical time when we get to show everyone what we have been doing and they get to share in the joy of human/animal interaction that is central to our lives.”

Oxford Mail:

Most zoo-type animals filmed in the UK will be owned and trained at the private centre in the tiny village of Heythrop, near Chipping Norton.

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Among its 'dangerous' residents include lions, tigers and leopards, plus several smaller creatures.

The venue is the largest trainer and supplier of animals to the audio visual industries, with more than four decades of experience in feature films, natural history documentaries and still photography.

Oxford Mail:

It also hosts interactive events including the Animal Encounters and college visits, plus new services launched this year including Educational Animal Parties, Animal Training courses and 'Zookeeper for a day' experiences.

The open days began in 2007 and have since grown into a tradition for several visitors, who take the rare opportunity to meet inhabitants new and old.

Oxford Mail:

The first family day of 2019 took place on September 1, with last Saturday and Sunday providing the latest two.

This Sunday is the last chance this year to see inside the zoo, with visitors advised to pay on the day.