Tuesday, 31 March 2020

New Wildcats

All new cat pens are now occupied, and we have three new cats... or at least new on view... to introduce to you. Later last year we collected a couple of sisters who were born at Edinburgh zoo. "Hilda" above and "Agnes" below. They are both to become part of the breeding programme, and to take over from Kendra and Iona who have done so well for us in the past in rearing kittens. 

You can see that Agnes is still rather shy. She was the last cat to be put on display, while we were waiting for her new enclosure to dry out after the works and slight flooding, but while there are no visitors coming in it is the perfect chance for her to settle in well. I tried to get a nice photo of her over the last few days, but alas... she decided she didn't want to pose.

Another new cat who came to us earlier this year from the West Country Wildlife Centre, was "Atticus" above. Handsome face! He is still rather young, and still settling in, but will also be joining our breeding programme. Another shy cat, but again hopefully will settle well while we are closed and be a little bolder once visitors start to come back.

Hilda though!.. she is a superstar already. Some of you have met her already, as she was on display for the last weekend before our shutdown. She is the opposite of her sister, very bold, and seems to love the attention. She has been paired up with our male Braveheart. Some more photos of her below... check out those stunning green eyes!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Otter Cub Update

Well, what a strange weekend... the first weekend for over six years that we have not been open to the public! This is what our otters think about all of this, above...

But seriously, we do have to take all this seriously. It seems that news about the corona virus has been around for a long time, but at the same time the potential impact and seriousness of it all has been rapidly becoming clearer in recent days. We have to do what we can not just to protect ourselves, but those more vulnerable that we may come in to contact with and to do our best to help, even if only a small way, to relieve any pressure on the NHS and the amazing work they are doing.

So, to update those who don't follow our social media, the Centre is now in lockdown as of last Friday evening. We feel this is the best thing to do morally and ethically to protect our visitors, members of staff and the wider community.

Don't worry about the animals, they are fine, I am here 24/7 and will keep them healthy and happy. I will do my best to do a post here once a week to update you all on what is happening, and if I can more frequent posts (maybe even some instagram stories now my beautiful sister-in-law has showed me how to, wooo!) on our social media too. I'm sure many of you will want to keep up with how the animals are doing, or at least have a little break now and then from the constant worrying news we are being exposed to lately.

I will likely not have time to reply to any or all questions and comments though, so any important questions or queries please email in, our owner David will be checking emails most days and should?.. be able to help... oh lord :-)

Back on topic of the heading, what's a good way to forget the covid-19 news for just a little while, an Otterly Over the top Overload of Otter Obligingness Originals of Otters!

In other words, heres a load of photos of our otter cubs from the last few weeks, maybe too many for one post, but who cares in these times!

Take care of yourselves and each other, and see many of you back at the Centre when things get a little bit back to normality.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

New Cat Enclosures

Finally, after a long old process with many delays due to weather and flooding, our new wildcat enclosures are finally finished and you can see some of our cats back out on display this weekend. Well, they were actually finished for last weekend and we did have some out in the first pen, but they were still settling in and not seen too often except for Kendra, above, who liked to use the platform to keep an eye on all the comings and goings. You can tell she was really pleased to be back out... no seriously she was, that's the look she always gives me. We have a kind of love/hate relationship in that I love her, and she hates me!

Here they are in all their glory!.. and comparing these to our old pens is much like comparing a wildcat to a domestic tabby. They may look very similar at first glance, but the differences are there... subtle, but they are there. Check out that stand off!

So where are our cats? In the first enclosure Braveheart, above, has stepped back out on to display, and we have introduced him to a new female, Hilda.

Our two old girls, Kendra and Iona, are currently in the centre pen, and the last enclosure is still empty... the flooding left most of it under water, and it is still drying out. Hopefully cats out there for next weekend fingers crossed.

This means the wildcat talk is back on schedule, although they may need a couple of weekends to settle back in to the swing of it all, and then you can see them at their "wild" best...

Eh, hang on... their "wild" best!..

That's better...

I mentioned Hilda, she is one of two new females that came down to us last year from Edinburgh Zoo. Her sister Agnes is still off display, but will be paired up with a new male Atticus when they move on to display soon. Once this happens I will introduce you to all three.

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't mentioned McTavish yet... I know he is a bit of a "fan favourite" with some of the members, but he will currently be staying off display to allow our pairs to have access to the larger display pens. He may well make an appearance every now and then though as we move the cats about to manage the breeding, and so we can give you a heads up when/if he goes back out for a while.

So, cat talk back for this Saturday, or should that be "Caturday!" Oh boy, Liza will be proud of that one, I hope she reads this post!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

New Keepers

Can you believe it is March already! The year is racing by and there is much to catch you up on, but we will get you there in the end, took us a while too.

Roe buck antlers almost grown, new cat pens now ready, new cats arrived at the Centre and we mustn't forget how great our otter cubs have been!.. But first, let me introduce you to two other new arrivals here at the Centre. Jess and Luke pictured above.

It has been known to most of you, or certainly the regular visitors, that we have been short staffed for some time now. Having struggled on through the winter months, we are delighted to introduce Jess and Luke, our two new keepers (Jess is the one on the right.)

They are already settling in well, and picking things up quickly, so it won't be long till you see them out and about while you are visiting and I am sure you will make them feel welcome.