Thursday, 29 April 2010

Dormice are back!


Today I received two common dormice, or hazel dormice as they are often known, as part of a national zoo breeding programme for them. They were collected this morning form the LZS, London Zoo, and arrived here this afternoon.

The breeding programme is co-ordinated at Paignton Zoo down in the South-West. The pair we have are ones which were taken in from the wild for being to small to survive hibernation. The plan is to allow them to produce one litter, they plus the parents will then be re-released back into the wild after the Summer, and next year we will be allocated another pair in similar circumstances. All this means that no one dormouse is our of the wild for too long.

This is one of very few breeding programmes which we are still new to as opposed to a leading contributor and so is very exciting for us. Once we get established it is hoped we will be provided with non-breeding, non-release candidates for a permanent home which we can put on to full display for visitors.

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