I was only talking to one of our maintenance men the other day saying "In the 14 years I have been here, this is the first Winter that the otter ponds haven't fully frozen over!"... and then what happens, the Beast from the East arrives!
So the question on many peoples minds... Do we have snow here?.. Well, yes and no...
On a couple of mornings we have had a shallow covering, of which most has melted in the sun by midday. As I have often said in the past, we seem to be in a little dip here that avoids a lot of this weather, and only a few miles away there has been quite a bit of snow fall making it tricky for keepers to get in.
Yesterday saw a few heavy snow flurries during the day, and you can see Elwood not fazed at all by the snow... not so much can be said for the cubs, who really didn't like the ice on the ponds. But as you can see also from the picture of Elwood, not much snow stayed on the ground meaning very green enclosures still.
I mentioned the otter ponds icing over above, and as always the otters seem to love running on top and diving through from both above and below. It is still just as cold here, and we are forecast more heavy snow flurries tomorrow and Friday... so, if it lays, there could be some good snow around at the weekend for you to see, if you can get here of course.
Our otter cubs have been growing fast, and are not far of the size of mum already. Here they are at the beginning of the month helping each other in and out of the water.
You may remember that one of them was out of their holt early, and had to be rescued and taken back to his home. He is very friendly, well they both are, but this little one in particular seems to remember the helping hand he had when young and is not fazed at all.
They are learning quickly, and look up to Elwood who plays a large role in their upbringing... a very modern father otter. We have been really original with their names this year. Harry (otter) and Beatrix (otter).
And yes, I know I said we had hardly any snow, but I thought start with a snow pic end with a snow pic. This is one from seveal years a go of Toby our badger. Earlier this month he was filmed as part of a TV programme that will be aired later this Spring. Not much more can be said now, but we will let you know nearer the time when you can seem him be our next star of the small screen.