A BABY reindeer has been introduced as the newest animal at a zoo in Essex just in time for the festive period.

Maldon Promenade Zoo now has more than 80 species of animals, with 80 per cent being rescued, and the newest to arrive is a baby reindeer.

Haillee the Scandinavian reindeer was born at the zoo’s private farm in Southminster and has now been moved to the zoo in Maldon Promenade Park.

Visitors can say hello to Haillee alongside dad Rudy, mum Vixie and auntie Donner.

Dunmow Broadcast: Family: baby reindeer with mum and dadFamily: baby reindeer with mum and dad (Image: Maldon Zoo)

Other animals at the zoo include meerkats, a skunk, reptiles, amphibians, birds, farm animals and more.

Alongside the private Southminster farm and the zoo in Promenade Park, the owner have a third site based in Latchingdon called The Dengie Animal Safe Haven (Community Interest Company).

The site houses a number of rescue animals and is open for visitors at On The Latch in Althorne.

Dunmow Broadcast: Baby face: close up of the baby reindeerBaby face: close up of the baby reindeer (Image: Maldon Zoo)

Visitors to the zoo will be able to touch most of the animals with the help of the zookeepers as part of the general admission to the site.

Describing the latest additions at the Maldon Promenade Zoo, owners Craig and James Williams said: “You will also have the opportunity to feed these majestic and magical creatures all whilst our lovely team of zookeepers fascinate you with amazing facts, not just about the reindeer but also all of the other animals we have.

“You will enjoy during your visit a reptile talk, cute and fluffy talk, farm talk and a feeding demo with our lovely mob of meerkats, along with some keepers choice talks along the way.

Dunmow Broadcast: Visit: the reindeer with SantaVisit: the reindeer with Santa (Image: Maldon Zoo)

“You might even have the opportunity to get hands on with some of our animals under the direction of our keepers of course.

“We also have a very special treat and that is coming to see our very own Santa in his grotto - we are super excited to have him and I am sure all of the children and their families will enjoy meeting him.”

To book for your children to meet Santa at the zoo, go to https://bookwhen.com/maldonzoochristmas.