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Are you insured?

Yes, we have public and product liability insurance up to £5,000,000. If you require details we can provide documentation when you make a booking.


Are you DBS (previously CRB) checked?

Yes, we all hold an enhanced check and copies can be provided, we also carry these with us to all bookings.


Are you licensed?

From April 1st 2019 all animal encounters companies must operate under new licensing by law. This is part of ‘The Animal Welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) regulations 2018’ and completely replaces the previous Performing Animals Licenses, which are now null and void.

We are inspected every 3 years by Central Bedfordshire Council. Our license number is 19/017833.

Please note that ANY company running activities with animals (including places like pet boarding, pet shops, riding stables etc.) MUST have a new AAL (Activities with Animals License) and are operating illegally if they don’t hold and carry one. Please ensure any animal services you use are still operating legally.


Do you have a risk assessment?

Yes, we can provide a copy of our thorough risk assessment and can provide you with any advice and information you may need to help you complete your own.


Are your staff experienced?

We have now been running our award-winning animal encounters for over 10 years. Our main presenters are all experienced working with animals, children and those with additional needs. Our manager and lead presenter, Becky is an experienced, qualified zoo keeper and also previously worked as the lead education officer at Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park. Our staff all hold relevant animal husbandry and care qualifications- with Becky holding a BSc. (Hons) degree in Applied Animal Behaviour & Training. Please see our 'About Us' page for more information on each presenter. Presenter CVs are also available on request. We also have a small team of volunteers that occasionally attend bookings with us, all of whom are fully trained, with existing animal experience.


Are your animals from the wild?

No, our animals are mostly captive bred rescues, or rehomed and donated to us as ex-pets. Occasionally, animals come to us from responsible, reputable breeders, private collections and zoos within the UK. All of our rescues are captive bred, with the exception of our marginata ovum snail, Basil, who was rescued after being wild caught and imported for the food industry! Unfortunately they cannot be returned to Africa and they are our only wild caught animal. We do not know the full history of our rescue tortoise, Strawberry as her elderly owner suffered from Alzheimers and she may have been a wild import, as most tortoises were 40 year ago. We don't advocate any of our Animal Ambassadors as pets due to the incredible responsibility of caring for and and all animals.


Can I hold every animal?

We pride ourselves on our team of well-handled and habituated animals, so all of them are used to being held and/or stroked depending on the species. We don't like our sessions to be run as 'pass the parcel' with animals, so you may not be able to hold everything, as it will depend on the type of booking and number of guests. We do not allow people to stroke the owls or handle our tarantulas or amphibians. Unfortunately under 5’s cannot directly handle the animals, but can still get up close and stroke and interact with them. If your booking is for under 5's, we will ensure we bring appropriate animals for safe interaction with that age range. At large events with lots of guests not everybody will be able to interact with everything due to time constraints and as we don’t want our animals to get stressed, overworked, or bored. As a result we recommend a maximum of 15 guests at birthday parties. We recommend a larger maximum of 30 pupils per school session. This ensures everyone gets hands on with the animals, in an appropriate way. We can also create a ‘stand’ area at events- such as fetes, or wedding receptions and larger occasions- so guests can come and go throughout the event and have more opportunity to meet the animals.


Do your animals bite?

Any animal with teeth or claws has the ability to bite or scratch, however ours are well handled, habituated and used to people so it is highly unlikely. Our experienced animal handlers provide full instructions on how to correctly stroke, interact with and handle each of our animals and this is done under full supervision at all times. Animal welfare comes first so we always monitor our animals behaviour to make sure they are not frightened, stressed or over handled to further minimise risks.


Can I have specific animals at my booking?

We can do tailor made quotes and bespoke sessions so you can let us know if there is any animal you particularly want us to bring. The welfare of our animals is always our top priority. As a result, the animals at your event may be subject to change, although we will endeavor to meet your requirements where possible. This can be for a variety of reasons, for example some of our animals may not suit a particular event (eg. due to weather in an outside setting). They may be feeling under the weather or reptiles may be shedding their skin. In these circumstances we will not bring them.


Does my venue/classroom have to meet certain requirements?

You must get permission from your venue to check they are happy for animals to visit. Please feel free to pass on our details if they require more information. Close, convenient parking and space to unload must be available at your home or venue to enable us to set up your animal encounter and park during the event. We ask you to reserve a suitable parking space for us. Hand washing facilities with soap and warm water must be available, although we will also bring hand sanitizer with us. Access to an electricity point is desirable, particularly for longer or outdoor events. We can provide a 10m extension cable, but if a longer one is needed, then you must provide this, along with any cable covers that you may need for health and safety. For parties, classroom sessions and similar bookings you will need to ensure the room is large enough for all attendees. We like to have our audience sat at a U-shape of tables, with chairs around the outside, facing our animal stand, or a semi-circle of seating. Teaching Talons can cater for both indoor and outdoor events. For outdoor events a gazebo or marquee pitch is desirable although we can provide our own 3x3m gazebo. At outdoor events access to an electricity point and a shady pitch, with parking next to our pitch is required. If we encounter particularly adverse weather conditions and we feel it is no longer appropriate for the animals; we will need to move inside or pack away early as our animals welfare comes first. For multi-session bookings we ask to run all sessions from the same room.


Do your animals carry germs?

All animals will carry germs and bacteria (even humans!) and this is why hand washing is so important. People are not allowed to eat or drink while interacting with our animals and we discourage hand to mouth activity. We promote and recommend hand washing with warm, soapy water after handling or touching any animal and we also bring hand sanitizer with us. All our animals are well cared for and kept in clean, well maintained enclosures with their health monitored closely. We worm and mite treat our animals and submit faecal samples to be screened for parasites as relevant and necessary. We bring cleaning equipment, including disinfectant with us to clean up after the animals and to wipe down surfaces they may have come into contact with. Any waste is taken away with us after your booking.


Do I need to pay a deposit?

For any booking we ask for a minimum £50 deposit, which confirms and secures your booking. Deposits may vary depending on the type of booking and location. Once your quote, booking date, time, requirements etc. have been decided we will ask for this. All deposits are non-refundable unless Teaching Talons (Animal Ambassadors) Ltd. have to cancel your booking due to unforeseen circumstances, in which case you will be fully refunded unless another booking date can be arranged. Please ensure deposits are paid promptly and in advance.


How do I make a payment?

Payments are all via BACs transfer. Your remaining balance is due by the day of your booking. If full payment has not been made by, or on the day of your booking, we will not be able to carry out your Teaching Talons session. 


Do you charge for travel and are there any other charges added to bookings?

Travel is included in the price for all local bookings within a 20-mile radius of our base in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. For any booking further than this- travel is charged at 50p per mile, there and back. You will be asked to provide a venue post code when you enquire about a booking and we will provide you with a mileage cost in your quote, if relevant. Bookings starting or finishing on, or after 4.30pm have an additional £25 evening charge to local locations. This may be slightly more for further afield locations. Bookings further than 35 miles, or 1 hour from our base may also incur an additional distance surcharge, to cover our time. You will be made aware of this when you enquire. We are always transparent with our pricing and quotes, with no hidden fees. We are not VAT registered.


What areas do you travel to?

We cover the whole of Bedfordshire and a wide surrounding area, although additional charges as described in 'Do you charge for travel?' may apply. Areas that we cover regularly include the whole of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. We can also cover more long distance locations when required, please get in touch if you are unsure.


Can I cancel my booking?

Bookings can be cancelled, but unfortunately your deposit is non-refundable but if you have already paid in full the rest of you booking cost will be refunded. If you need to cancel but would like to re-book/change the date of your booking due to a change in circumstance, your deposit will be kept towards your rescheduled booking, providing your new date occurs within 12-months of your original booking date.

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