Noah's News Blog
“Lions and tigers and BEARS! Oh my!”
If you go down to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, you’ll soon be in for a big surprise…
We are excited to announce today special plans for an impressive new Bear habitat now being built for an endangered species soon to join us at the zoo!
Spectacled bears, better known as the nations favourite children’s character ‘Paddington’ (TM), will be joining Noah’s Ark from Frankfurt Zoo in Germany when the new 2 acre habitat is complete.
Two male Spectacled bears from Frankfurt Zoo will be the first to make their home in our new ‘Andean Adventure’ exhibit and will bring the important conservation message to life for our visitors.
At risk in the wild and listed by conservationists on the globally important IUCN Red List as ‘Vulnerable’; Spectacled or ‘Andean’ Bears number only 6 – 10,000 in their native habitats of South America and are a protected species under threat from habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.
Compared to other flagship animals of conservation interest, Andean bear numbers in the wild are significantly lower. For example African elephants number 300,000, whist giraffes number 80,000 in their native home ranges.
We are well into the building phase of the project, constructing a spacious landscaped new habitat for the two juvenile male Andean bear brothers which will arrive from Frankfurt Zoo in early 2016. The habitat is designed to enhance welfare and meet their complex needs, including accommodating a breeding family for the future. It will offer much more than just the ‘bear’ necessities!
‘Andean Adventure’ will be 2 acres in size and landscaped to mimic parts of the natural Andean environment home to wild populations of the species. The exhibit will offer hills, a cave and an impressive wide, meandering river ending in a large pool for the bears to use.
Encouraging their natural climbing behaviour, the territory will also have trees and aerial platforms.
Joining the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which oversees the management of the bears in participating zoos; Noah’s Ark will begin work with international colleagues to further important research and conservation work.
Director of Frankfurt Zoo Dr. Manfred Niekisch said this week: “We are very pleased that our two young Spectacled bears got such a good recommendation by the stud book coordinator.”
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm CEO Anthony Bush comments “We’re delighted to be building this important new habitat for Spectacled bears, joining international colleagues in the research and breeding efforts to support this unique species. We’re grateful to Frankfurt Zoo for partnering with us in the planned transfer of two young male bears to Noah’s Ark when our new habitat is ready for them”.
Located within the 110 acre park’s ‘South American’ section, the bears will share their home with brown-nosed coatis and squirrel monkeys, making an interesting mixed exhibit for visitors to engage with.
Already home to many of the iconic ‘big zoo’ animals, visitors to Noah’s Ark will soon be able to mimic the famous quote of surprise by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, saying “Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!” when the new exhibit opens in Spring 2016.
Look out for more details to follow shortly and updates on the project as we near completion! Check out our Facebook page for the latest information..
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open daily from 10:30 – 5pm Monday to Saturday.
World Rhino Day! Come & Celebrate with Noah’s Ark
Attention all rhino lovers! The date for World Rhino Day is officially Tuesday, 22nd September, but here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, we’ll be celebrating the annual occasion a little earlier – this Saturday, 19th September. Grab your friends and family and join us for a fun-filled day, all whilst learning a thing or two about rhinos and raising awareness about the continuing plight of our herbivorous friends.
World Rhino Day is now in its fifth year, and has grown to be a global phenomenon. It was set up to celebrate all five species of rhinoceros: white (like our South African white rhinos Rumba and Rumbull here at Noah’s Ark), black, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan. The day also highlights the need to get rid of the demand for rhino horn, as well as debunking the myths surrounding its curative properties.
Rhino horns are sold on the black market, used by some cultures as ornaments, or for traditional medicinal purposes. By weight, they cost as much as gold. The horns are ground up and then consumed; particularly in Vietnam, which has the largest market for rhino horns.
The ICUN Red List has identified three of the species as being ‘critically endangered’. This Saturday, you will be given many opportunities to learn about their plight. For example, in order to highlight just how many rhinos have been poached this year alone, visitors to Noah’s Ark can count the amount of rhino images displayed.
At 2pm on Saturday, our daily Giraffe Talk will be extended to include a special talk about the rhinos. We will be raising money for our chosen charity, UK-based organisation Helping Rhinos, by selling some delicious homemade baked goods, including rhino cookies and mud cakes – yum! You can also take part in our exciting raffle to win a rhino adoption for a year!
As well as learning about rhinos and helping raise money for this great cause, you will also be able to get up-close to our other amazing animals, including our lions, giraffes, elephants, crocodile – and so much more.
Spanning over 100 acres, you can easily while away a day at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm – our on-site café serves up fresh, homemade food, and our many indoor and outdoor play zones mean kids will be in their element. We look forward to celebrating World Rhino Day 2015 with you this Saturday!
Big Bird Bonanza at Noah’s Ark – Saturday 12th September
Any bird lovers in your family? If you want to see some of the most spectacular birds in the world, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is where you need to be this Saturday!
On the 12th September, we will be holding our Big Bird Bonanza event, which is a whole day dedicated to celebrating the huge variety of bird species we have living with us here at Noah’s Ark. From parrots (macaws and amazons) and vultures (white-headed and turkey) to ostrich, emu and rhea, we have birds of all shapes and sizes. And let’s not forget our lovely chicken, ducks and many more species within our aviary.
The Big Bird Bonanza will also feature numerous events – so whether you want to get arty and crafty, embark on a treasure trail or take part in a raffle, the day is guaranteed to be fun-filled! Raffle prizes this year include a family ticket to visit Noah’s Ark (third prize), a Birds of Prey animal adoption (second prize), and the top prize is an owl keeper experience – this involves meeting, cleaning and feeding birds of prey, as well as flying an owl. A raffle not to be missed – and you’ve got to be in it to win it!
The purpose of the event is to raise money for our chosen organisation – Birdline UK. The charity rescues and re-homes birds (mainly parrots) throughout England, Scotland and Wales. It is a charity we hold close to our hearts, as many of the parrots in our aviary have been re-homed from Birdline UK.
Representatives from Birdline UK will be visiting us on Saturday to give out information, but visitors will also have the opportunity to meet the friendly rescue parrot they will bring along with them for the day.
The RSPB and The Woodland Trust will also be visiting Noah’s Ark on Saturday to raise awareness about local birds and wildlife, as well as giving out information about their charities and all the work they do.
As well as all this, there will be a craft stand selling unique items of handmade jewellery, plus personalised products (the proceeds of which will be donated to Birdline UK), wristbands, key rings, magnets and coasters with images of our birds. Little ones could even have a temporary transfer bird tattoo applied for only 50p!
Of course, Noah’s Ark will be open as usual on Saturday, so you will still have the opportunity to wander around and pay a visit to all of our amazing animals – both big and small. Little ones can let off some steam in our indoor and outdoor adventure play zones.
We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday and hope you enjoy our fabulous Big Bird Bonanza event as much as we will enjoy hosting it!