Sunday, 15 April 2018

Photo of the Month: March 2018

"Albus the Red Deer Stag" by Vicky Inseal

Hmm... I came on to this blog today to introduce you to our new keeper, but then realised two things. Firstly, I don't have a photograph of him... or her... yet, and secondly I must have forgot to press the publish button when I put together our Photo of the Month post last week. Doh!

So, if I remember this time, here it is. Lots of great photos over March, and we could of gone with any number of pictures, but decided with the photo above taken by Vicky Inseal of our old stag looking proud with his harem in the background. Vicky's photo will be on display in our coffee shop gallery next year, and be in with a chance to win a photographic day here at the Centre. 

Have a look below to see a few more images from last month, and click on the photographers names to see more photos by them on their websites. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

March Update

Last month we were hosts to another film crew, as they filmed some of our animals at night. Yep, at night... Over several evenings filming through to early mornings, we helped entice some of our animals in front of the cameras for a series on nocturnal British animals coming out later this year. More news nearer the time. 

For this we had help from our pine martens, foxes, wildcats, badgers, hedgehogs, owls and the stars of the show... our otter cubs. It took all the animals a little while to settle with lights and cameras around during their usual peaceful time, but once they got used to it they were their usual selves... settled down, and provided lots of opportunities for the crew to film them. 

You may have noticed that our reception area has had a little change around. An extended office, and a re-organised kitchen. Woop-de-do I hear you cry, what about the animals?.. Well, this change around has allowed us to build a new enclosure for our harvest mice in the reception by the entrance. This new enclosure is far bigger than their old one, and gives you plenty of chance to see them while queing up to come in. No worries if you miss them, we still have our main display of harvest mice in the hedgerow section too.

A little change around with our foxes. Basil, above, had been getting in to a few little scrapes and we found out that he and Dobby had taken a slight disliking to each other. With this in mind, we thought we would try and introduce Basil in to our other enclosure with Ellis. So far so good, and they seem to be getting on well... even seen playing with each other on occasion. Great news as it gives Basil the space he needs, and Ellis some company. 

Our other change around was brining Daenerys on to display. She has settled in very well, and is one of our most active pine martens during the day now. Often been seen out in the morning, and often on her high shelf watching the public walk by. 

Despite the torrential rain over previous days, our adders have still been seen out during the brief dry spells. It won't be long till they are dancing.

Don't forget, we are still open everyday until the 15th for our Easter holiday opening. Photo of the month later this week, and then I will introduce you to our new keeper next week.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Daenerys on Display

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn't she beautiful?.. yes, worth mentioning three times, as you may have been so caught up her striking looks that you didn't fully take in the first couple of sentances of this post. 

Do you remember Daenerys? She arrived from Wildwood Trust a couple of years a go as a youngster, and has been off display since. During that time we have settled her in and worked hard with her so that she hand feeds as well as our others. She is now of breeding age too, so we are keen to pair her up this season to see what happens. 

All this means it is time for her to step out on to display, and a new enclosure has been built just for her. Over the last couple of weeks we have dressed it up, and earlier this week introduced Daenerys to her new home.

Here it is, right next door to Hamish. Daenerys will live here until a couple of months before the mating season, and then we will have a think about rotating some of our pine martens around to set them up ready for the summer.

She is still shy, having only been in her new home for a couple of days, but it won't be long until she settles down and starts showing herself during the day. Here is a little bit of footage of her exploring on her first night, picked up by our trail camera.

And another of her in the early morning, enjoying the sun.

Isn't she beautiful?

Later this year we will be pairing her up with one of our males, Drogo, and then fingers crossed to see if we can breed some kits.