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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 97

Real Love at the Wildife Park!


We had lots of fun last Friday and Saturday (13th & 14th February), making special Valentines Day treats for some of our animals.

Visitors came along to the classroom to cut a pink box out of card, and fill it with food treats for monkeys and meerkats. Monkey gifts were filled with a nice selection of fruit, nuts and cheese. Meerkat gifts were filled with chopped egg and dried worms!

I thought you would like to see some photos of the animals enjoying their Valentine gifts.













If you came along to make a gift - thank you! As you can see, the monkeys and meerkats liked them very much!

See you soon

Best wishes

LIz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 96



Meet Our New Baby!

Louka, our female Brazilian tapir who arrived last summer, brought with her a secret that we didn't know about: she was expecting a baby!

Her calf was born on 9th December, and I'm pleased to say he's doing well. His mum dotes on him and his step-dad (shown in these photos) adores him too!








As you can see, tapirs are wonderfully stripy when they are born - they look a bit like humbugs! But there's a very important reason for this. Brazilian rainforests can be very dangerous for tiny tapirs, with predators like jaguars, eagles, ocelots and anacondas prowling. Those pretty stripes help the tapir to hide in the shadows of the forest when mum goes off to find food!

You can spot our baby in the tapir shed when you visit (we are open every Friday and weekend, and during half term). He doesn't go out much yet because it's too cold but he will start venturing out soon.

Come and see him if you can!

Best wishes

Liz

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 95


Christmas Fun at the Wildlife Park!


We made Christmas crackers with a difference this weekend - they were filled with treats for animals! Visitors came along to the classroom to make their own crackers, and had great fun watching the animals enjoy them.

In the wild, animals don't get their food presented to them in a dish, as our animals do - they have to work hard to find food! By giving our animals their food hidden in a cracker it makes them have to think harder to work out how to get it out. This is good for them as it keeps their brains busy. (And of course it's great fun to watch them!)









And we gave our animals some early Christmas pressies too!





The Wildlife is open everyday during the school Christmas holidays, so I hope you can come along for a visit!

Have a great Christmas!

Best wishes

Liz xx




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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 94


Meet Kush the Panda


One of the Wildlife Park's most recent arrivals is Kush. He's a young male red panda, who has come to join our female and our elderly male red pandas. The best thing about Kush is that he isn't shy! In the past it has been very hard to spot our pandas, as they usually hide away, but Kush likes to show off. And who can blame him, with superstar looks like this!






The Enchanted Wood


It was VERY busy at the Wildlife Park this summer. As usual, the animals were the main attraction, but there was an extra treat in store for our visitors: The Enchanted Wood! This is a very special and exciting children's play area, just outside the cafe and schoolroom. If you weren't lucky enough to come along this summer, don't forget that the Park is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter.


The Enchanted Wood





After some technical problems recently, the blog is back! I hope you'll be a regular reader.

See you at the Park

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 93




Persistent Peacock!


This peacock wasn't having much luck with the peahens just recently. He followed them round and round the Park, displaying his magnificent tail, but they just ignored him!





Finally he gave up and decided to try his luck with first a chicken, and then a duck!






Well I have to say that I'm very impressed indeed with the peacock's amazing display. I can't think of a bird in the world with a more beautiful tail.




I hope you can come and visit us soon. I have discovered that I can sometimes make the peacock fan his tail out by making a shriek like a peahen, so you could try that to see if it works for you. Make sure you have your camera ready!

Best wishes
Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 92



It's Been a While!

If you're a follower of the Wildlife Park Children's Blog, you have probably been getting a bit fed up with me recently, as I've not been posting.

I've been grappling with gremlins in my computer system, which, it turned out, were due to me using Internet Explorer as my browser. Every time I wrote a blog and tried to save it, it disappeared!! The same thing was happening with class photos.

Anyway, enough of that. I've now got Firefox and it's all working just fine!

I thought you might like to see these photos of our animals getting their Easter eggs a couple of weeks back. Chocolate eggs are not very good for animals, so these ones were made of papier mache filled with juicy treats such as mealworms.












We had as much fun watching as the animals did opening them!

Hope to see you at the Park soon.

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 91


The Sunshine is Back!

Well it rained, and rained ....... and rained. The puddles at the Wildlife Park were more like lakes! The animals were getting just as fed up as the rest of us - even the ducks were longing to see some sunshine!




But this week the sun came out! And the animals loved it! It was such a treat to walk round and see them basking in the spring sunshine, instead of hiding from the storms.






I hope you've been enjoying the spring sunshine too!

Come and see us soon.

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 90



I Want a Fish Too!

When the keeper arrives with his bucket of fish to feed the penguins and pelicans each day, he is being watched! The local seagulls and grey herons know exactly when feeding times are, so they wait patiently for their chance to swoop down and steal a fish or two! In fact the keepers are so used to this happening that they put an extra couple of fish in the bucket to make sure that our pengins and pelicans don't go short when the cheeky thieves strike!





Don't tell the keepers, but I'm always secretly hoping that the wild birds will manage to get a fish. After all, it must be hard for them to find enough food each day, and they are always hungry!

Come and see us soon - you might even spot a heron!

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 89


Christmas Tree Fun!

Most animals enjoy having new things to sniff and explore. And believe it or not, an old Christmas tree makes a perfect toy for some of the animals that live in the Wildlife Park!

Below you can see one of our Asian short-clawed otters having fun with his tree. And our male elk seems quite pleased with his too!




Tomorrow (Saturday 13th January) We will be giving a big Christmas tree to the meerkats! What do you think they'll do with it? Come along and see them if you can!

Best wishes

LIz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 88



We Went Crackers for Christmas!

Even the animals joined in the festive spirit at our special Christmas event this weekend - Santa was here with a special sack containing bags of animal titbits for our visitors to feed to the them!



And we were very busy indeed in the schoolroom, making special crackers for the meerkats and the monkeys. Can you guess what we put inside? Not jokes and toys, but worms and pieces of egg for the meerkats, and fruit and nuts for the monkeys!



As I think you can tell from the next photos, the monkeys and meerkats were very pleased with their Christmas crackers.





I expect you'll get to pull a cracker or two yourself in the next week or two (hope yours doesn't have any worms in it!)

Have a fantastic Christmas, and do come and see us if you can - the Wildlife Park is open all through the Christmas holidays (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from 10:00 until 4:00 (last entry 3:00)

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 87



Colour-Me-Wild!

Friday was the last of this year's Colour-Me-Wild activity days for Reception groups. We have had over 450 children take part this year and it was FUN!

Here's a picture of Friday's children from Bunscoill Rhumsaa at the end of their day, showing off the colourful butterflies they have just made.


Put These Dates in Your Diary!

You really must come along to the Park on Sat 14th and Sun 15th December this year, for our special Christmas event. There will be lots going on - you can make crackers for the animals, and get bags of animal treats from Santa! There will be a Santa train too, and delicious food at the cafe.

Here's a picture of one of our monkeys with his cracker last year. He looks very pleased with it, don't you think?



See you soon

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 86


Monkey Business!

I can never walk past our crab-eating macaques without stopping to watch them for a minute or two. They are always busy! Monkeys are some of our closest cousins in the animal kingdom - just look at their hands and their expressive faces to see how similar we are!

Like us, monkeys enjoy hanging out with their friends and family. But I've never seen people grooming each other quite like this!



This one was determined to do a thorough job of grooming his pal! Here's a few more photos our macaques, taken the other day.







Come and see them soon - the Wildlife Park is open every weekend all through the winter.

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 85



Wonderful Wallabies!

The Year 5 class from Victoria Road have named their class the "wallabies". What better excuse for a trip to the Wildlife Park to get acquainted with the real furry ones from Australia!

As you can see, as soon as they got to our Australian paddock, they couldn't resist switching to wallaby mode, and jumping along like wallabies should!



Kangaroos and wallabies move like this because they have to travel long distances to find enough juicy grass to keep them going. Jumping saves energy, because each time they land, their legs spring back rather like elastic! Their tail is really important, because it helps them to balance. As you can see, the Victoria Road children don't have tails - but they still managed not to fall over!

Here are a couple of pictures of the real wallabies for you.





There's lots going on at the Park for the half term holiday, so I'm hoping to see lots of you here!



Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 84


liz and slinky


The Meerkats are Missing You!

Out of all the animals here, I think the meerkats are the ones who most enjoy having lots of people around. They had great fun this summer watching all the visitors and showing off to their fans! Now that the Park is a bit quieter they seem to be wondering where everyone has gone!

They were enjoying a bit of relaxation, however, when I sneaked up on them with my camera recently, as you can see in these photos.




Of course, wild meerkats living in the desert can only chill out like this if one of their family is on guard duty, watching out for enemies such as hawks, snakes and hyenas.

Remember that the Wildlife Park is still open 7 days a week until after half term. The meerkats hope to see you soon!

Best wishes

Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 83


Sizzling Summer


What beautiful weather we had this summer! At the Park we had LOTS of visitors, so I hope that you were amongst them. I was very busy indeed, arranging for feed time talks, animal shows in the Rainforest Theatre, and activities in the classroom. Also, for two weeks the Park had an amazing summer school called the Wild Academy. Congratulations to all the students who graduated. This photo shows the students from week 2 at their graduation ceremony in the Rainforest Theatre. They made their hats themselves from balloons and papier mache!



Our animals really loved the hot weather, especially the ones from tropical rainforests, like the spider monkeys. We cut down some of the tall bushes around their island, so now they have a much better view of everyone (and we have a better view of them!)


Now that the new school year has started I am looking forward to seeing you with your class when you come for a school trip to the Wildlife Park!

Best wishes

Liz x



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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 82


Cute Baby Elk


Our baby elk is nearly two months old now and is doing really well. He (or maybe she - we're not sure yet) is getting quite brave now, and is starting to leave mum's side to explore by himself.



He was quite weak and feeble when he was born, so it is lovely to see him looking so strong and healthy in the sunshine. He was born one of twins, but sadly his twin did not survive. The photo below was taken when he was just a couple of days old.


His mum is quite a fierce elk - even the keepers don't get too close to her. But she is a very good mother!

Hope to see you at the Park this summer.

Best wishes
Liz x




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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 81


Monkey Watching


A couple of weeks ago, 80 people from a big office in Douglas got a bit bored sitting in front of their computers. So they came to the Wildlife Park with their gardening tools and helped us to clear all the thick bushes that blocked the view of Spider Monkey Island!

It's so much easier to see the spider monkeys climbing around on their island now, and I really enjoy watching them when I walk past. Last week I remembered to take my camera with me.



They are SO good at climbing! I guess their amazing tail helps them - it's called a prehensile tail, which means that it can hold on to things like an extra hand.

I know that you'll enjoy watching them too when you next visit us.

Best wishes
Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 80


Super-Dad!


As I'm writing this blog on Father's Day, I thought I would write about one of the best bird dads in the world. It's the male emu - the world's second largest bird.


In the Australian grasslands, the male emu digs a shallow nest on the ground, and persuades as many females as he can to lay eggs in it (an emu egg is dark green and about the size of a coconut). If he's successful he might end up with over 20 eggs! Then, he sits on the eggs to keep them warm and safe, for two whole MONTHS, without leaving them for a minute. This means he can't eat, and can only drink the dew that forms on the grass he can reach. He must get so hungry and thirsty, but he won't leave the precious eggs.

And then, when they hatch, he looks after his large family of babies until they are big enough to take care of themselves. What a SUPER-DAD!

At the Park we have a male and a female emu, but the male is extremely old, so the eggs that the female lays are never fertile. Shame - I'd quite like to see a few emu chicks!


See you soon (and so will he!)

Best wishes
Liz x

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Wildlife Park Children's Blog number 79


Do They Eat Meerkats?


Wild meerkats live in the deserts of southern Africa, and they must always be on the lookout for danger. Danger might be a hyena or a snake sneaking up, or (more likely) a bird of prey swooping down from the air. This means that the meerkat on guard duty must keep an eye on the sky, as well as the ground.



The Wildlife Park is right on the TT Course, so last week there were quite a lot of helicopters flying overhead. Watched closely by the meerkats!



Well how is a meerkat to know that helicopters aren't giant eagles on the lookout for a meerkat lunch?

And I'm happy to report that none of our meerkats were carried off by TT helicopters!!
The Park was much busier than usual this TT week - no doubt because of the sunny weather. It was really lovely to see some of you at the feeding talks and shows in the Rainforest Theatre.

Best wishes
Liz x

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Wildlife Children's Blog number 78

What Is It?


I took this picture of one of our birds this week, but do you recognise it?
Clue: It's a bird.
Clue: it's a male bird.
Clue: this is the back view.
Clue: he's showing off!


He shimmied his wings and shook his feathers at me for ages, before he turned round and I took the picture I wanted. Now you see who he is!!


His beautiful tail has markings that look like eyes. The more of these that a peacock has, the more likely he is to find a girlfriend. It would be rather nice if the peacock's voice was as beautiful as his feathers, but he makes the most awful screech!

Best wishes
Liz x


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