Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Badger Cub

Another busy week at the Centre saw Andy Rouse here for a couple of days photographing fox cubs, and planning a possible new workshop. Heather Angel running one of her popular photographic workshops, and the usual array of school trips and private tours.

In amongst all this though, we found time to welcome a new member to our badger family. Pictured above is "Honey". She is a rescue cub that had been reared for a little while before being passed onto us for a new safe home. She is already quite a character, and can be seen at certain times of the day in our photographic pen, when we are open to the public.

Our own resident badger fanatic, Laura, has taken on the task of bonding with Honey and introducing her to our cub from last year, Titch. Given time we hope to then introduce both of these to Toby to form a nice clan in our observation sett. Our remaining badgers will then be placed into our "semi-wild" sett on the nature reserve. In the future this will allow us to offer badger watching evenings... something I know many of you have requested in the past.

In other baby news. Tutoke is growing fast, and you can see how proud doting mother Richard is! I am sure he will be up and flying for the Summer (Tutoke, not Richard), and will add to our already popular owl display. Twilight and Eclipse are still sat on 4 other chicks in the barn, all that can be seen on the screen in the reception area.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

More of Flo's cubs

It's been a busy week for us all here at the Centre, and this evening I had a spare few minutes so I decided to sit in with Flo. We now believe that she has had 5 cubs, but tonight I just saw the four. The cubs have been great recently, coming out after the keeper talks and playing around nearer the end of the day just before 5pm.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Flo's cubs out and about

Flo's fox cubs are now gaining in confidence, and we have seen them emerge for the last few evenings after closing. They even made a short appearance over the weekend after one of our fox talks. Of course, it is only a matter of time and they will appear far more often and in front of the crowds and cameras.

Here are a few pics I took yesterday evening of toe of the cubs that were happy for me to be there while they played with their dad, Frodo. In total four cubs have been seen at once so far.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Fox cubs emerge.

Yesterday, Richard saw Flo's cubs emerge for the first time! He has seen at least three at the same time, but of course there could be a few more hidden away. Surprisingly Flo has had them in a different area of the enclosure than last year, but when a little bigger and moving around more, they may well feel they need to move back to their earth.

I had a little sit in the enclosure this evening, but all I saw was one cub nose occasionally peeking from the den. The photos on this page are of the three orphaned cubs currently being reared by Katie.

The three cubs, "Shadow, Polly and Tipsy", will be on view after the fox talks this weekend, in our photographic pen opposite the polecats and stoats.

Of course, you may well glimpse our own cubs with Flo too.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New babies out and about to see!

The first litter of red squirrels to be born in a walk-through enclosure are now "out and about" their new home. Having been born in one of the boxes in the holding pen, it has taken the last week for the 3 youngsters to find their feet in the branches and get the confidence to venture into the main part of the enclosure. Yesterday, for the first time, saw the mother lead the kittens out into the wide world. They ventured half way around the pen, where they remained playing in the trees mush to the delight of the small crowd at the keeper talk.

All three kittens look healthy, and we hope they will follow their mother in being friendly and coming up to say hello to you all in time.

The three fox cubs that were brought to us last week are going from strength to strength. Katie is doing a grand job in rearing them, and from next weekend we will have them out for you to meet after the two fox talks. They will be on display in the photographic pen we used last year for the youngsters. Originally as a place for the youngsters to get used to people being around, and eventually, when they are a little older, a place for them to stretch their legs in a secure setting.

Monday, 2 May 2011

New arrivals

Another busy bank holiday Monday, amongst which we had to find time for the arrival of three very young orphaned fox cubs. These three cubs will be reared by Senior Keeper Katie, before likely heading off to the Isle of Wight Zoo to set up a new exhibit with our old cub Snoop.

Today we also removed one of the barn owl chicks from the barn. Richard has decided to take up the cause of rearing this one, and we hope it will feature as part of the flying team by the end of the Summer.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Wildcat kittens

Yesterday saw Iona give birth to her litter of kittens during the day. She took up the same place as last year in her enclosure, and over a couple of hours around midday gave birth to what I believe is 4, yes 4! kittens.

This is a large litter for a wildcat, and after last year failing to look after just the one, we all hope she has learn't and will be better prepared for this year. So far she is doing a grand job.

I only had the small lens on my camera, so it is a very grainy picture, but you can still make out the face of one of the kittens. For some far better efforts check out our flickr page (linked on the right) for some much better photos of the proud new mum and her babies.

I spent the early part of the afternoon watching her through binoculars, and I think I could make out 4 distinct kittens. I watched her eat the umbilical cords and clean them all up before settling down for a well earned rest. All four kittens tucked in very quickly for their first meal.