YORKSHIRE Wildlife Park has become the first animal attraction in the UK to fully prepare for April Fool’s Day, by hiring a crack team of telephone operatives to combat the annual influx of prank phone calls.

The customer service team at the park near Doncaster has undergone an intensive training course on how to deal with hilarious pranksters, who see April 1 as an opportunity to make joke phone calls.

Each year, animal attractions across the UK are inundated with calls from people asking to speak to Mr C Lion, Mrs G Raffe and Lee Murr.

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This year, Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s new TPI (Telephone Prank Interception) team will be primed and ready today to ruthlessly disengage with anyone trying to have fun.

A YWP spokesperson said: “With polar bears to feed, and real customers wanting to buy tickets to our upcoming events, we simply don’t have time to pretend to laugh at these prank phone calls like we usually would.

“That’s why we’ve procured an external TPI specialist to train our teams to deal with humour efficiently on April 1.

“Anyone who calls Yorkshire Wildlife Park with a joke enquiry on Monday will be dealt with accordingly.”