Hi explorers! I hope you enjoyed my first blog, but if you missed it, don’t worry because there’s a whole new one right here!

My last visit to Wingham Wildlife Park was during the summer but recently I visited the park again and of course I enjoyed my visit just as much as the first one.

This blog is going to be about updates on the animals that I mentioned before and some new ones too! There are so many amazing creatures at Wingham that I just have to shine some spotlight on others that caught my eye this time around. Also, towards the end I’ll be mentioning a very special and exciting new addition to Wingham so make sure you stick around for that! Last time, I spoke about how the squirrel monkey was my current favourite animal however, since then I believe I have a new favourite animal. Can you guess what it is?

ITS THE LION!

Lion at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

During my visit I went to see the big cats. Big cats is a term used to describe animals belonging to the cat family such as tigers, lions and jaguars. The two lions at Wingham are called Brutus and Clarence and both have very different personalities just like humans!

FUN FACT: Did you know that other than the male’s mane lions naturally have short hairs which are very greasy. Whilst speaking to the keeper at the lion enclosure, she explained that if you were to run your hand across their fur then it would go dark with oil. Of course for safety reasons you must not attempt to touch them! But what you can do is ask questions to the keepers about anything you like and so far there has not been one keeper that couldn’t answer my questions! Why not give it a go you will definitely learn something new.

I also learnt a little bit about Brutus and Clarence’s back-story including where they were rescued from. Unfortunately the pair had a bad experience during their past, where they came from the circus and were not treated very nicely. If you get a chance to see Clarence then you will notice that he has a scar across his face and an even larger one across his torso. But on a positive note, the two are perfectly safe and happy at Wingham and are nicely settled into their new home.

Hearing Brutus and Clarence’s story really opened my eyes to what actually happens behind the scenes and we as members of the public are blind to how cruelly these wonderful animals can be neglected and displayed in front of people because of entertainment purposes. It is wildlife parks such as Wingham that support the animals regardless of their back-story and help them to find their feet again to live a happy, healthy life.

If you want to learn more about Brutus and Clarence, check out the lion enclosure on your next visit to Wingham and share your discoveries with other explorers!

Another point is that it seems this time of year is one of the best to view the animals at the park. The reason for this is because on my latest visit there were very few animals that were sheltering inside their enclosures. I’m not entirely sure whether this is because of the weather but if you missed visiting Wingham in the summer, I would highly recommend visiting around this time of year, especially as you can go to school or work and share your findings with your peers- it is important to educate people as much as possible about the environment around them. You might even surprise them! Be sure to share one of the fun facts to wow your friends with your knowledge!

Red Panda at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

UPDATE: Ok explorers, last time we learnt about Mai the red panda and I am happy to say that she now has a new companion! During my visit to Wingham last summer, Mai was on her own in her enclosure, happy as can be but it was time for a new friend. Yuzu recently joined Mai in her enclosure and now it seems that the pair is inseparable. The keepers are watching them very carefully for signs that they have mated. The keepers at Wingham hope for Mai to be pregnant to help contribute to the bid to stop the rapid decline in the red panda population as red pandas are amongst the worlds most endangered species.

ACTIVITY: CALLING ALL PARENTS! Recent years have shown a rise in awareness of the plastic crisis and how it has been a major destruction of sea life and habitats. In addition, a lot of plastic waste has ended up being washed up on beaches too! “What can I do to help?” A good place to start would be to become more mindful of the amount of single use plastic you and your family are using and try if possible to use less of it. Major supermarket chains have now began to introduce paper carrier bags instead of plastic as plastic bags have become one of the main sources of the plastic crisis. However sometimes it can be difficult to not use plastic as a lot of the worlds produce is packaged into plastic. But little awarenesses of how much you are using will add up over time and make an impact on a much larger scale! To put it into context, the amount of plastic bags alone consumed in one year is 5 trillion. That makes 160,000 per second! These shocking statistics are causing major decline in sea life population and it is REALLY important that we protect them. Be sure to read this section to your children and share your knowledge as grown ups can be explorers too!

Ring-tailed lemur at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

UPDATE: The baby lemur has been named Flo! How cute! She is just as energetic as the adult lemurs and gets excited when visitors come to see their enclosure. She is very confident as is not afraid to introduce herself by climbing onto your shoulder. It is quite easy to identify Flo because of how small she is so make sure to look out for her at your next visit to Wingham!

FUN FACT: Do you know that depending on how intelligent a lemur is depends on how popular they are in the group! A study showed that when lemurs were put to the test and challenged to retrieve a grape, the lemur that was successful first received the most attention from the other lemurs. It’s like when your friend gets the answer right in class and you and everyone else praise them for it! Try it yourself and see how intelligent you can become!

Peacock at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

Every time I go to visit Wingham I always make sure that I learn about an animal that hasn’t come to my notice during previous visits. This time around, my attention was caught by the peacock. You might not recall visiting a peacock enclosure but this is because the peacocks are allowed to roam free! I found that this was a great feature to the park as it is especially nice for children visiting to have a personal experience with some of the animals. Although it is important to remind your children not to touch them, I will say that is a very beautiful animal to closely look at.

FUN FACT: Do you know that peacocks are one of the largest flying birds. Their length including their tail can reach up to 5 feet and their brightly coloured tails with eye- like spots are used to frighten off predators. How cool is that! As far as I know, there isn’t a keeper specialising with the peacocks, however I’m sure that if you asked a keeper passing through the area about them then they would be able to offer some information. Or if your Einstein brain is switched on then why not try making a discovery on your own and expand your mind a little bit more! As the lemurs would say “Intelligence is key!”

FINALLY! The time has come to speak about Wingham’s newest addition to the wildlife family that is going to be featured in the parks Rainforest S.O.S district. This animal is truly amazing and I can say that it has been one of the most fascinating animals I have ever seen! She has the most beautiful face and really long eyelashes. She would melt any heart that came to visit her. So the new animal joining Wingham is…(drumroll please)

Orangutan at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

MOLLY!!!

Announced on Tuesday, Molly is the gorgeous new orangutan here at Wingham Wildlife Park and I can’t be more thrilled to be able to speak about her with you! I feel so so privileged to have visited Molly as she was getting settled into her new home.

When we saw her for the first time it was very emotional as it was overwhelming to be in contact with such a wonderful creature that felt like it was within touching distance from where we was standing. We watched as she swung from her ropes up to her favourite spot where she likes to sit at the top of her enclosure. She really is a character as when she noticed we were there, she became shy and went to her bed to retrieve her blanket. At first I thought that she was getting her blanket to sleep but instead she sat on the ledge opposite the window that we was looking from and began to play peek-a-boo. Every time she popped out from under the blanket we would laugh and she would do it again! It really was funny and she is so sweet.

I am so happy that Wingham has decided to feature orangutans at their Rainforest S.O.S district as their ability of seed spreading whilst eating fruit is significant to the rainforest, helping to shape and preserve them. But like many many animals in the twenty first century, orangutans are critically endangered and what’s even more upsetting is this is all because of habitat loss. Deforestation causes animals like the orangutan to lose their homes and their main food source. 2-3000 orangutans are killed every year leaving only an estimated 50,000 left in the world!

IMPORTANT FACT: Palm oil is also a BIG issue that is destroying rainforest life and this damage cannot be reversed but it is vital now that sustainable production is used to stop this issue worsening.

 We as the cause of this destruction need to protect stunning creatures like Molly and give them a happy healthy world to live in!!!

NOTE: Don’t forget to look for updates on our blogs and vlogs to keep in touch with your favourite animals. Also scan the QR codes around the park to watch live talks on the fantastic creatures. This time, I loved watching the otter talk! Which is your favourite?

About Ellie - Junior Reporter

Ellie was selected as one of our junior reporters for the period of 2019 until 2020 and was 15 years old when she first got involved.