Springtime brings beautiful baby animals

May 13, 2016

Glorious spring is here and so are the babies! At New Forest Wildlife Park you can see the latest arrivals, including wild boar piglets, mouflon lambs (a type of wild sheep characterised by large curly horns when adult) and joeys born to the wallabies, including a joey born to resident albino wallaby Dazzle.

May half term will also be a good time to visit New Forest Wildlife Park as it will be BIAZA Love Your Zoo and Wildlife Park Week (28 May to 4th June) and there will be a special treasure chest quiz for children.

There’s also a chance to find out more about otters on Wednesday May 25th, which is World Otter Day. Did you know, for example, that giant otters like to eat piranhas and snakes? Or that the short arms of Asian short-clawed otters allow them to juggle stones, shells and even grapes? Or that some otters have whiskers on their elbows?

New Forest Wildlife Park has several species of otters, including Asian short-clawed otters, Eurasian otters, North American river otters and the amazing giant otter, so follow the keepers on their daily feeding rounds to find out more about this wonderful species.

Popular giant otter brothers Simuni and Akuri will be off to a zoo in Colombia to form families of their own as soon as the necessary paperwork has been completed, and two female giant otters will be coming to the park in their place. This is the first time captive bred giant otters will have been sent from the UK to Colombia to breed and is an exciting development for the park, so don’t forget to pop by to see these lively and boisterous animals at play.

The tropical butterfly house is open from Easter to September, allowing you to enjoy all the colourful species in their heated tropical plant house. New pupae arrive weekly throughout the season, allowing children to witness all stages of butterfly development and to watch the tropical visitors in all their glory.

There are plenty more animals to enjoy too, including wolves, lynx, ferrets, polecats, Scottish wildcats, pine martens, several species of deer, including red deer, European bison, foxes, hedgehogs and 12 species of owl.

The park’s glasshouses have been refurbished, with a centrepiece of a new glass home for the harvest mice, so that visitors can watch the everyday activities of these busy creatures in a re-creation of their natural environment.

There are two fabulous adventure playgrounds for children and adults – Go Wild and Mini Go Wild – where visitors can let off steam, have fun and explore their climbing, swinging, bouncing and balancing abilities.

New Forest Wildlife Park rescues injured and abandoned wildlife, such as orphaned otters, in association with the RSPCA and is involved in international captive breeding programmes for endangered species, such as the giant otter.

The New Forest Wildlife Park is at Deerleap Lane, Longdown, Marchwood, Southampton, SO41 4UH. Tel 02380 292408. www.newforestwildlifepark.co.uk.

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