Noah's News Blog
Jumbo partnership with power company benefits elephants
Weston Power and Avon Wildlife Trust help supply trees for elephant food
Our elephants are benefiting from a new partnership with a regional power company and a local wildlife trust, getting daily access to freshly cut trees to eat.
Always on the look to help develop the benefits of zoos and wildlife parks, we’ve promoted the change in zoo elephant diets with other industry leaders from high calorie treat foods, to their natural diet of branches and grass. This new partnership will help our eles M’Changa and Janu continue enjoying a steady supply of just that.
With the help of Weston Power and Avon Wildlife Trust who are both undertaking tree cutting work not far from the 20 acre elephant habitat, our Keepers spotted an opportunity to sustainably recycle the new waste wood.
Collected by our hard-working Grounds team who regularly coppice local woodland to supplement the diets of grazing animals at the zoo, trailer loads of tree branches are now collected several times a week from the new area in neighbouring fields and driven back by tractor to our 100 acre estate ready for elephants, giraffes and tapirs.
The government’s Henley Report criticised the zoo elephant world in 2010 for the comparatively short life in captivity of elephants, with too many suffering from arthritis and being over-weight. Noah’s Ark’s Elephant Eden was built in response and has achieved international recognition since for its welfare-improving training, healthcare and nutrition routines.
Noah’s Ark has been recognised with industry awards for its sustainable practise and green tourism for visitors, including the national Gold from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and Silver from the 2016 Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism awards.
Our visitors are able to enjoy the interesting sight of Janu and M’Changa stripping bark from the fresh branches piled in their field, natural behaviours not commonly seen in zoos and an important educational experience. If you haven’t been to Noah’s Ark before, plan your visit this weekend for Half Term and see what you’re missing.
“These are fascinating natural behaviours, which very few people in the world get to watch” said zoo owner Anthony Bush. “It also means that the elephants are never bored, never show stereotypical behaviour”.
We currently have 2 elephants and are in negotiation for receiving others soon – stay tuned for more details over the coming months.
We’re open Monday to Saturday from 10:30am – 5pm. For more information visit www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk
Costumed Zooperheroes spotted at Bristol animal park
Hard-working zoo keepers celebrated with fun photoshoot at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Surprised visitors to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm had their heads turned by an usual sight; superhero-costumed figures going about their daily animal-keeping chores for elephants, rhinos and big cats.
In a light-hearted event, the hard work of our ‘zooperheroes’ was recognised in an amusing photoshoot with caped crusaders posing around the 100 acre estate captured on camera.
With a dedicated team of 22 keepers working with a range of animals from emus to elephants, we’ve grown considerably in recent years and the daily management of the zoo requires an experienced and committed team to ensure it runs smoothly and meets the needs of both the animals and visitors.
Working long hours, weekends and public holidays outside in all weather, the life of our animal keepers is often glamorised with the public only seeing the fun parts of the job.
Emma Lamport, Marketing Manager at Noah’s Ark oversaw the light-hearted event.
“It’s great to recognise the hard work and tireless enthusiasm of our keeper team. They brave the elements, work long days and are 100% committed to their animals. They are real-life superheroes!”
Noah’s Ark has a long-standing training program taking on volunteers and giving practical husbandry experience, offering full time internship and employment opportunities to those showing potential. Some of the zoos current keepers began their career this way, working their way up to senior positions on the keeping team.
The 100 acre animal park is not just committed to sustainable staffing, it holds the Gold award in the national Green Tourism Business Scheme for its green innovation and carbon-reducing activities. One of only 4 UK zoos with the kite-mark, Noah’s Ark also won the national ‘Innovation Award’ from the National Farm Attractions Network earlier this year in recognition of its novel energy-saving projects including the new bear habitat, Andean Adventure.
Playful bears hang out in ‘green’ hammocks at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Award-winning sustainable zoo makes hammocks for Andean bears from recycled firehose
Two Andean ‘Spectacled’ bears at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall, Bristol enjoyed relaxing today in new hammocks made for them by Keepers from recycled fire hose donated by Avon Fire and Rescue.
The 100 acre animal park, home to a host of big zoo animals including elephants, rhino and big cats holds a Gold award in the national Green Tourism Business Scheme for its carbon-reducing activities and is continuing its sustainable innovation by giving hammocks to its bears created from reels of the reclaimed hose.
The parks playful two year old Spectacled bears Tupa and Sonco, brothers from Frankfurt Zoo in Germany, were immediately inquisitive when they came out of their house and spotted their new aerial beds – both climbing up to test them out for comfort and seen visibly enjoying the new resting spots.
In a new partnership with Avon Fire, Noah’s Ark took delivery of 40 reels of industrial fire hose no longer suitable for firefighting use and has found creative ways to use them around the zoo. Bears, gibbons, lemurs and big cats are all the lucky recipients of fun enrichment items made from the repurposed material – play balls, climbing lines and hammocks are just some of the clever designs made by the parks Keeper teams and volunteers.
Noah’s Ark Keepers have been grateful for extra hands in the construction process – particularly from Lloyds bank staff in Bristol who joined the zoo for team-building days and were invaluable in their enthusiasm and practical help cutting and joining hose to make toys for the animals.
Zoo Curator Chris Wilkinson comments
“It’s great to provide extra enrichment for our bears, the pair are very inquisitive and love exploring their habitat and anything new they can play with. It’s good for them, and fun for visitors to watch so a positive all round for the park”.
The park also won the national ‘Innovation Award’ from the National Farm Attractions Network earlier this year in recognition of its green efforts and novel energy-saving projects. It now becomes the first farm park to hold sustainability awards under the two schemes.
The new bear habitat, Andean Adventure has been praised for its sustainable design with low energy lighting and heating, with recycled water built into an educational exhibit for visitors. This follows on from the opening of the 20 acre internationally recognised Elephant Eden in 2014, built with the integration of renewable solar, heat power and recycling waste water and animal dung through natural processes.
The zoo farm has been praised for its public promotion of green issues and projects to visitors, with investment to provide useful displays and posters explaining the importance of green tourism and sustainable practise to families and schools.
Tupa and Sonco can be seen outside in Andean Adventure throughout the week, the zoo is open Monday to Saturday from 10:30am – 5pm. Find out more and plan your visit here to see them this week.