Noah's News Blog
Planning Your Zoo Visit?
With just a couple of weeks left of the summer holidays, now is the perfect time to start planning your zoo visit! Whether you’ve been to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm a million times before or it’s somewhere you keep meaning to visit, there’s one thing for sure: it’s a place where you are guaranteed to create some lifelong memories. Why not treat your kids to one last day out before the school bell rings for the autumn term? We are open this Bank Holiday Monday, so come and say hello to our big zoo animals and enjoy everything we have to offer here at Noah’s Ark…
But what exactly do we offer?
Well, first of all, we have to mention our main attraction: our amazing, big zoo animals. We see elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions and tigers in pictures and on TV nature programmes all the time – but nothing beats that feeling of being up-close to these magical creatures, seeing them go about their day-to-day activities before our very eyes.
Swing by Elephant Eden – described as a five-star luxury resort for elephants! Set over a staggering 20 acres, it is home to our lovely elephants Janu and M’Changa. With a state-of-the-art barn, swimming pool, hot and cold showers and central heating for when the temperature drops, you may just want to move in yourselves!
Our long-necked friends Gerald, Genevieve, George and Geoffrey are also amazing creatures to see in the flesh. When they are in their house, visitors can walk up the steps to the viewing station and be within touching distance of the giraffes – and there are guaranteed to be plenty of picture-perfect moments along the way!
With the unpredictable British weather at the moment, there’s every chance it could take a turn for the worse. If it does, fear not! Noah’s Ark is an all-weather destination, and there are plenty of places to take respite from the rain. Little ones will love our indoor adventure play zones (which are now heated to keep them extra toasty). Tiny tots will have fun in the Jungle Den, complete with ball pits, soft games, ball blower and much more!
There’s lots to do for older children too – they can grab a mat and race down the three wavy, rainbow-coloured slides, or take a trip down the daring drop slide. There are also indoor trampolines, climbing frames and rope bridges so they can play to their hearts’ content.
When it comes to feeding rumbling tums, our on-site café is the place to be. We serve a range of nutritious and delicious lunches – locally-sourced where possible – as well as ice creams, snacks and a wide selection of drinks.
Unlike some other zoos or day-trip destinations, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm offers completely free car parking to all visitors, meaning you can park all day and not have to pay a penny.
What’s not to love about Noah’s Ark? Pay us a visit and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about! What’s more, if you book online you will receive a 5% discount, just for booking ahead of time. Wave goodbye to the summer in style at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm…
Noah’s Ark Expecting Rhino Baby in the Future!
Our two South African white rhinos, Rumba and Rumbull, are part of the fixtures and fittings here at Noah’s Ark – they remain one of our most popular attractions and are a firm favourite with both visitors and staff alike. In fact, they’re playfully referred to by many locals as the ‘Rhinos of Wraxall’!
However, as loved-up as they are, they have struggled to conceive naturally. Rhino mating is notoriously difficult, which is why we have recently enlisted the help of German rhino reproductive specialists from Berlin’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. And we’re rather hopeful that the pitter-patter of tiny (or not so tiny) feet is on the horizon…
We hope that they will be able to breed within the next few years, helped along by modern science. The Leibniz Institute utilise the most up-to-date scientific developments and conservation research in order to support wild and captive populations of important species; naturally, reproductive management plays a key role in this.
We are extremely grateful to Dr. Robert Hermes and Dr. Frank Goritz for travelling all the way over to Bristol to work with our keepers to assess the reproductive conditions of our two rhinos and carry out artificial insemination (A.I.) this month. The news was good: sperm samples taken from our male rhino, Rumbull, proved of good enough quality to try the A.I. procedure on mate Rumba – and so the German team set to work.
Two samples were inseminated over the space of two days, and we are now keeping our fingers crossed and waiting patiently to find out if the fertilisation was a success.
As with all our amazing animals here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, we hold our two rhinos close to our hearts; they were the first big zoo animals to arrive here ten years ago, when we transformed from a petting farm into a large animal zoo. Rhinos are classified as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) Red List, so it’s important that we do all we can in terms of conservation.
It is proving to be an agonising wait to discover the outcome; with a gestation period of 16-18 months, it will be a minimum of six months before we find out the results of the insemination. If the procedure has been successful, it will be another 10 months until the birth of the baby rhino – so we could expect a new arrival sometime in the winter season of 2016/17.
Working late into the night with the German team to assist with the procedures and monitor the rhinos, our keeper Chris Wilkinson commented:
“We’re thankful to Robert and Frank for their expert work and care during the procedures. Rumba and Rumbull are doing very well and we’re all excited for the future for them – fingers crossed for a baby rhino!”
Come and say hello to Rumba and Rumbull at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, as well as our other amazing animals, including elephants, lions, tigers and giraffes. With indoor and outdoor zones, Noah’s Ark is an all-weather destination, open daily from 10:30am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
World Elephant Day at Noah’s Ark – 12th August
World Elephant Day was launched three years ago to bring awareness to the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants. Naturally, we were keen to get involved as it is another way that the team at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm can take part in continued conservation efforts. And, with our two beautiful African Elephants Janu and M’Changa so happy with their home at Elephant Eden, we want to do what we can to protect other elephants and raise awareness of the current poaching of the world’s largest mammal – some predict that up to 100 are killed each day for their ivory.
This Wednesday 12th August will be a day dedicated to the elephant, and we will be proudly raising money for our chosen elephant charity, Space for Giants – an inspirational organisation with a mission “to secure a future for the largest mammals on the earth forever, to be enjoyed by humanity forever, by ensuring that they have the space and security to live and move freely in the wild forever.”
As always, there will be plenty going on at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, but to celebrate World Elephant Day we have arranged a day of festivities and themed events. Join us at 1.30pm at Elephant Eden to watch a video, see the elephants enjoying a food treat and listen to a special keeper talk. We will also have a variety of competitions taking place throughout the day for the all the family to get involved in:
Keeper Experience Competition
This fantastic competition could see you win a unique Keeper Experience! Simply purchase a raffle ticket, sign up to our newsletter, and win one of the following prizes:
1st Prize: Elephant Keeper Experience (adults only)
2nd Prize: Elephant Adoption pack for one year
3rd Prize: A range of gifts to take home – from adorable magnets to cute key rings!
Roll up, roll up!
We will be setting up a stall in the elephant house, selling items relating to Elephant Eden – including footprints of Janu and M’Changa to take home and treasure forever! We also have elephant-themed gifts for sale, including magnets, coasters and more.
Our ‘touch table’ will give you the chance to handle elephants’ tusks, teeth and hair, and there will even be a bag of sealed poo!
Please show your support and pay a visit to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm for World Elephant Day. It’s guaranteed to be a fun day out, and is perfect for elephant lovers of all ages.