Wednesday, 11 July 2012

New Weasel and Pool Frogs

Some of you may have noticed our new weasel on members evening this past Saturday. This is our new male weasel, tentatively named "Goliath" by the keepers. Goliath came from a friend of the Centre, Andrew Gray, who runs the Mustelid Rescue UK up in Manchester.

Andrew has a network of students over the whole of England which help him to rescue any injured or abandoned stoats and weasels. We got to know each other a couple of years ago, and have recently helped with a couple of his calls from down south... including one of our new stoats Dorris.

Goliath was reared by Andrew, but it was soon evident that he was too tame to be released back in to the wild. Knowing that we had just reared our own female weasel, Eva, Andrew thought that we may be able to offer him a permanent home here at the Centre.

Of course I jumped at the chance. As most of you are aware, weasels are one of my favourites, and a tame male would be perfect to eventually pair up with Eva for the hope of young weasel kits in the future.

If you haven't met Goliath yet, you are in for a treat... He is a stunning young weasel, and arguably the biggest weasel I have ever seen! Hence the name. Although I am sure he will be a gentle giant, and treat Eva well. They a have already been talking to each other through the wire, and I don't think it will be long until we can try and run them together.

Also on his trip down to see the Centre Andy brought with him some young Pool Frogs. You may remember from one of my previous posts that Andrew Gray is a Herpotoligist that works at the Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester. He is an expert in all amphibian matters, and works extensively in the husbandry, research, fieldwork, education and conservation of these often miss-understood and overlooked animal groups.

To get a better understanding of what Andy does, his work with amphibians, and the occasional bit of mustelid news, check out his blog at "Frog Blog Manchester" It is a great read, and you will certainly learn a lot about all herptiles, British and exotic.

The pool frog is a welcome new addition to our collection. I am hoping to branch out our herptile section to include all native reptiles and amphibians, and am working hard to get the necessary licences to do so, and the pool frog is a fantastic way to start with its great conservation story.

Pool frogs were a native British frog, presumed extinct in this country by 1995, but have since been re-introduced to a single site in East Anglia.
These frogs can grow up to around 9cm, however the males are usually a lot smaller. These little ones I have now are not even 2 cm yet, still youngsters, but they are eating like anything and I don't think it will take them long to grow.

I currently have them set up in our fish tank in our Hedgerow section, next to our hedgerow pond, and they were beautifully out on display this past weekend so why not come and see what they look like. Once grown on, I am hoping to place them in the main hedgerow pond.

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