Monday, 30 November 2009

Walk through Red Squirrel enclosure

The time is almost upon us when we can start our new venture of the Walkthrough Squirrel enclosure. I have spent the last 2 days catching and moving our Red Squirrels around to set up new breeding pairs for next year and to set up an initial 10 Squirrels to be released into The Copse.
This week is the final week of preperations... feeders are going up, squirrels are getting used to their pens, poles and rope runways are being put in place and all the boundaries are being checked and double checked for a Sunday release!
On this coming Sunday, 6th December, we will open up the doors on the pens within the Copse and just let the 10 squirrels come out and explore at their own will. Fingers crossed they won't get out!
In other news:
The new male weasel has been given the name "Buck" (Ice Age 3 anyone?)
Flo has settled in extremely well with Luna and formed a strong pair bond. This week they will be introduced to Frodo and Pickles.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

New Fox!

We have recently gained a new fox... pictured above is a young vixen we have named "Flo". She came from a rescue centre which had reared her and then after a couple attempts of releasing her only to find her appear back on their doorstep the following morning decided to re-home her permanently.
We are currently housing her in with our reared cub, Luna, and they have already formed a strong bond and has provided Luna with the much needed "foxy" company.
Later in the week we will introduce Luna and Flo to our main dog fox Frodo and his sister Pickles in the main fox enclosure. Hopefully they will accept each other readily and Frodo will be able to start his own family carrying on the genes of both Buster and Honey.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Ratus ratus

Our rats have been in high demand over the last few months. Many of our Black and Brown rats were donated to a small collection to help freshen their bloodlines within their colonies. I took 21 of our Brown rats to Wildwood, Herne Bay, today to help them set up a new colony. Our Black rats were used at Tulleys Farm scarefest at their recent halloween festivities and now they are currently in Bristol being filmed for a televsion programme.

It may just be me but don't you think Black Rats are really pretty? If you can call a rat pretty then the black rat must be it!!!

Update: Toni the Tawny Owl went to School yesterday and was a huge hit with the kids, I feel he will be very popular with visitors and a real asset to the centre

The young weasel is growing very fast and becoming quite a character (Ouch!). He will be on display for the Christmas open period in our Hedgerow display before moving up to one of the photographic pens for our 2010 Spring opening onwards.

Friday, 13 November 2009

"Tony" Owl

A new Owl has joined our educational team in the form of a Tawny Owl...

This male Tawny Owl arrived at the BWC a little over a year ago from "Animaline" charity where he was rescued and reared from a chick. We origianlly put him out on display in our avairy with our other Tawny Owls until recently we decided to have a "friendly" Tawny Owl for handling purposes. Tony was the obvious choice with his start in life.

We caught him up last weekend and already he is a pro, sitting beautifully on the glove and having done his first private group appearance yesterday evening. On Monday he will have his first School trip when we present a talk on British Owls to Notre Dame Primary School in Lingfield.

Good luck Tony!

Monday, 9 November 2009

What's the difference between a Stoat and a Weasel?

...............................Weasels are weasely recognised and Stoats are stoatily different :)

Ok, so I apologise for that but the number of times we keepers hear that joke during the year its nice to get my own back! The reason for the appauling pun? The BWC has a new arrival, a Weasel!

Shy on arrival, his first day here at the BWC

This young weasel was caught by a cat and brought to the Centre this last weekend. At first glance of his head popping out of the sock he was in it looked like a young female, but after he decided to emerge to see his new home we realised it was infact a young male from a late litter. For this he is now being kept off display just until he reaches full growth and we know that he has suffered no injuries from the cat that found him.

All going well and he will be out on display in one of our photography enclosures (by the Polecats) before the end of the year!

Currently spending his evenings at home with me

He has settled down and become quite lively, showing off his teeth!

Even starting to use them!!! Luckily he isn't strong enought to break skin... yet!

But he soon wears himself out with all the 'rough 'n' tumble'

He has yet to be named, so any ideas then feel free to let me know.

I will be sure to update you all on his progress and when he eventually goes out into his new home.