Hi, it’s Celia again and I’m here with my last blog for Wingham Wildlife Park! Instead of focusing on two areas of the park like I usually do, I wanted to simply enjoy all the animals and use my last time as Junior Reporter, making my way round to see and interact with as many of them as possible.

I visited on Monday 27th May.  Being a bank holiday, the weather obviously was not on our side, but we didn’t let that dampen our adventure or spoil the fun!

Meeting Abi and DIY Binoculars

We made our way to the pop-up tent by the Penguins to find Abi.  Abi has taken over the Junior Journalists whilst Leanne is on maternity leave.

Education at Wingham Wildlife Park

Abi works in the Education Department and has worked at Wingham Wildlife Park for just over two years.  In the Education department they give educational classroom-based talks to schools, run activities during the school holidays and run and manage Wingham’s social media accounts. 

Abi has a great love of animals and when she was younger she wanted to be a teacher.  Working in the Educational department means she can interact with the animals and also teach children of all ages about the importance of zoos and conservation.

When I asked Abi if she had a favourite animal at the park, she couldn’t decide so picked three;

  1. The Artic Wolves, Shadow and Ghost
  2. The Tigers, Troy and Blade
  3. Their female Medium Crested Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Daphne

Half-term Activities

Since being Junior Reporter for Wingham I had yet to participate in the activities run by them in the school holidays so thought this would be fun for my brother and I to do.

We decided to paint some binoculars, unfortunately the weather was extremely temperamental this day, so we didn’t have a chance to use them! For now, they have taken pride of place in my bedroom.

Here’s some animal highlights from my last visit

Barbary Macaques

Just look at this little guy munching on some pepper!

Sadly, the Barbary Macaque’s forests are disappearing, and they could soon be extinct.  Another serious threat to these beautiful animals is pet trade. There are fewer than 8,000 wild Barbary macaques left.

Senior Keeper Holly wrote a lovely blog back in January where she talks about the “other” monkeys, including their dominant male Barbary macaque, Momo.

Common Marmosets

My favourite photo of the day!

Did you know…

  • The word ‘marmoset’ originates from a French word, meaning ‘shrimp’ or ‘dwarf’.
  • They have an unusual skin that changes its colour under the sun, so that the animal’s literally “tan”.

Argus Monitor

All the animals seemed to be extremely sociable today.  As soon as this Argus monitor spotted me, he came right up to the glass to say hi!

Meerkats

Meerkats are quite possibly the biggest posers in the park! Just look at this one on the left. And how lovely it was to witness these adorable baby meerkats enjoying a feed from their mother.

Did you know…

  • Meerkats are highly intelligent. A study at St Andrews University found that meerkats use complex coordinated behaviour, which rivals that of chimps, baboons, dolphins and even humans!
  • Meerkats are omnivores – they eat fruit and vegetables as well as animals. Their diet mainly consists of insects, but they also eat small rodents, fruit, birds, eggs, lizards, scorpions and snakes!
  • Meerkats don’t drink water! Despite being desert animals, they unbelievably don’t need extra water in their diet.  They get the moisture they need from the insects and grubs they eat.

Giraffes

We witnessed the Giraffes being fed which was lovely and it was so nice to see that George and Henry, the new Giraffes that arrived in January this year have settled in. 

To find out how they were transported to the park and a little bit more about the four of them, have a read of Meghan’s blog.

Someone very special…

Baby Margaret

It’s not at all surprising that I am completely obsessed with baby Margaret who was born in December last year.  I am pleased to report that Margaret is doing fantastic, her mother, Tara is doing an absolutely amazing job!

Western Chimpanzees are critically endangered in the wild, so every baby born is extra precious.  If you remember, I wrote about the Chimpanzees back in my very first blog.

Can I make a difference?

Yes, you can!

There are so many ways you can support Wingham Wildlife Park and the amazing work they do from simply buying a day ticket to adopting an animal (this is on my Christmas list).  You could also volunteer like Sarah, now Head of Carnivores.

From reading the Parks “Mission Statement”, “environmental education is one of the major keys to successful conversation” and I am a true believer in this. 

I love the two quotes used in their statement;

Nelson Mandella
“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”.  We can only make a difference if we are taught about the importance of conservation and what we can do to make a difference.

Albert Einstein
“The only source of knowledge is experience; tell me, I’ll forget.  Show me, I may remember.  But involve me and I’ll understand”.

And I quote Sir David Attenborough
“It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on earth”.

Being a junior reporter for Wingham Wildlife Park has been an absolute honour and a privilege.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. And who knows, maybe one day you might be hearing from me again.

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