THERE’S a chance to get up close and personal with a rare antipodean animal at a Devon zoo.

Paignton Zoo are offering the opportunity to meet Bruce - one of the only short-beaked echidnas in the UK.

Native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea echidnas occupy a range of habitats and in the wild eat ants, worms and termites, which they collect using their long, sticky tongue.

 The  Zoo is now offering a new exciting  ‘Echidna Experience’ -  a unique encounter that is perfect for animal-lovers of all ages

Suitable for ages five and upwards (with adult supervision for anyone under 16) , the experience will enable visitors to  behind-the-scenes with a zoo keeper and meet the little spiney wonder, learn fascinating facts about the echidnas,  help prepare Bruce's lunch and even meet his enclosure mate Dumble the potoroos.

Spaces are limited and can be booked through the zoo’s website