Noah's News Blog
Summer holidays at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
With tropical hot temperatures, stormy skies and media reports of a heatwave, it seems like summer is truly here!
At Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm we are gearing up for the start of the summer holidays, when we offer fantastic family days out in Bristol – with everything from mighty African animals through to our fantastic play areas and picnic spots.
For the summer season, we’ve been working behind the scenes to improve visitor facilities to make a day out here even more special.
We’ve now got upgraded café facilities, so you can enjoy healthy lunches, snacks and drinks in even more comfortable surroundings. And as the site is so large, we’ve introduced a new Trunk Stop kiosk offering drinks and ice creams so you can cool off when on the move exploring Noah’s Ark!
New toilets have also been built to cut queues and ensure you have the most time possible to enjoy the animals, parks and playgrounds here on the farm.
As well as our vibrant shows and talks running daily, we’ve got a series of summer events shining the spotlight on some of the incredible animals we have here on the Ark.
We’ll be marking International Tiger Day on Tuesday, July 29, with a special talk at the Big Cat sanctuary, where visitors will also get the chance to see the tigers get some new enrichment toys.
Enrichment is an important part of the management plans for all our animals at Noah’s Ark. This ranges from offering the animals interesting new items to play with to hiding food in novel places to bring out their hunting or scavenging instincts.
It’s a great way to keep Bengal tigers Tiana and Khan stimulated, engaged with their surroundings, active and healthy both physically and mentally.
The pair always enjoy tearing apart their carved pumpkins (filled with meat) during Halloween enrichment, footballs for the World Cup and sniffing, clawing and scent-marking on their Christmas pine trees.
For the daring, we are running the ever-popular Reptile Fortnight again this summer, from Monday, August 4 to Saturday, August 16. We’ll have daily Venomous Snake Shows at 12.30pm and 2pm in the Ark Arena. The shows feature the deadliest snakes from across the world including the black mamba, king cobra and gaboon viper. These are the only shows of their kind in the South West!
There will also be a chance to meet and have your photograph taken with the friendly non-venomous reptiles including a mississippi alligator, panther chameleon and burmese python!
Many of our small animals will be taking a trip from the Ark to visit the beautiful Ashton Court estate for the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta on the weekend of August 9 and 10. We love visiting the incredible balloon show and letting more people find out about Noah’s Ark.
Then on Tuesday, August 12, we’ll be celebrating our beautiful elephant Buta on World Elephant Day. We’re running a fun-packed day at Elephant Eden featuring keeper talks and a competition to win a chance to go into the elephant keeper area and hide some enrichment treats for Buta!
With so much on at Noah’s Ark these summer holidays, make sure you book your tickets online, where you’ll be given a bonus 5% off your entrance!
For more information please visit the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm website or call 01275 852606.
Wildlife Day at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
While there’s no doubt that every day is full of wildlife at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, this weekend we have extra special guests coming to visit.
Our ‘Wildlife Day’ takes place this Saturday, July 12 and brings to life some of the less prominent aspects of the wildlife in the area – focusing on some of our native British species of animals and birds and getting hands on pond dipping and finding out about the natural habitats around the area.
Big zoo animals like our beautiful elephant Buta and our rhinos and zebras often hog the spotlight, so we’re turning it on the nature hidden on our doorstep out here in Wraxall.
Visitors can join us at our behind the scenes nature reserve to learn about the local wildlife living inside the grounds.
Staff will be leading a nature walk to our private conservation area in the afternoon. Meeting at the Big Cats area at 1.30pm, visitors can walk to a private part of the zoo to have fun pond dipping at our conservation pond.
There will be the chance to discover lots of native pond wildlife and get to understand more about them from our experienced staff.
Throughout the day there will be lots on offer for youngsters, with activity sheets that children can have fun filling in around the farm. These include colouring in, word searches and anagrams.
For the more active among us, all our usual indoor and outdoor play areas will be open, giving little ones the chance to climb, play and run to their hearts’ content.
We’re also joined by a variety of charities who will be with us to share the valuable work they carry out to help conserve native British wildlife and their habitats.
The Woodland Trust – the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity dedicated to planting trees and protecting woods – will have a stand here to raise awareness of their work.
Ancient woods across the county are vulnerable, facing threats from pests and disease and moreover, human impact. Insensitive development continues to prioritise short term benefits at the expense of these historic natural resources.
By exploring our conservation pond and chatting with our charity representatives, there will be plenty of inspiration on how you can help local conservation efforts or even learn how to help the wildlife in your own back garden!
Noah’s Ark will have its own special stand out for Wildlife Day, with a very special representative joining us – Bella the Barn Owl! Come along to meet this beautiful bird and find out how we can best protect her kind.
Our stand will also have a range of information on offer about charities supporting British wildlife, from The Barn Owl Trust through to Raptor Rescue, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Secret World.
And if that’s not enough, we will also have some cheery, summery sunflowers on our stand for visitors to take home with them and remember their day.
While you’re at Noah’s Ark this weekend, make sure to stop by our popular Giraffe House during Wildlife Day to see our charismatic little giraffe Geoffrey who was born the other week.
The leggy baby giraffe is busy exploring his new surroundings and loving all the attention he is getting!
Mum Genny and dad Gerald are always proud to show off their new arrival, who was born in a surprise birth during the daily Giraffe Talk!
We are open from Monday – Saturday, 10:30am – 5pm. For more information about our animals visit the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm website or call 01275 852606.
Introducing Geoffrey – Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm’s new baby giraffe
A gorgeous baby giraffe arrived at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in a surprise birth during the daily Giraffe Talk!
Visitors attending the zoo’s talk, given by the animals’ keepers each day at the Giraffe House, were thrilled when mum Genny went into labour on Friday afternoon.
The little calf certainly knew how to make an appearance, popping out while Giraffe Keeper Emma Green was discussing when Genny was likely to give birth.
She had just been saying that the baby was expected in the next two days when Genny’s waters broke and two tiny hooves appeared!
While the lucky visitors got to see the start of Genny’s labour, keepers soon moved her into a straw-filled private part of the Giraffe House so she could get on with the birth in peace and quiet.
Keepers were on hand to monitor mum throughout the birth and after two and a half hours a little calf was with us.
Dad Gerald showed his support by staying nearby throughout the birth of his new son.
The proud dad, who is 10 years old, is also father to Genny’s firstborn George, who was born in 2012 – and also kept an eye on his mum during his brother’s birth. The boys often leaned their necks over the partition fence to provide their support.
Genny, 6, and Gerald are very much the happy couple, still ‘loved-up’ and happy to be second-time parents.
Keeper Emma said she was delighted that everything went so smoothly, adding:
“Both mum and baby are doing really well – Genny is a very natural mum! We were delighted to watch her new calf’s first steps and will monitor the family.”
Incredibly, the new baby giraffe arrived on the third anniversary of Emma’s employment at Noah’s Ark! It’s not the first time a giraffe has arrived in time to mark Emma’s achievements, as her first day as Head Giraffe Keeper following promotion two years ago saw the birth of George the giraffe!
Little Geoffrey has already hit headlines thanks to his timely arrival, which came a few days earlier than his due date of July 6.
The average gestation period for a giraffe is around 15 months and Genny’s labour was textbook, as giraffes usually give birth standing up and the babies are born with their two front hooves first.
The happy family have all been getting to know each other and Geoffrey has been exploring his new surrounds and testing his limits with his parents!
Geoffrey is eating solids from birth but is also reliant on his mum’s nutritious milk for the first six to 12 months of his life.
He has been spending the past few days in the Giraffe House bonding with the family and the house is now open for the public to come and meet Geoffrey.
We’ve got lots on offer this summer and, as always, there’s our packed daily schedule of talks and feeds where you can get an insight into the lives of our majestic animals, from our Elephant Talk through to the Big Cat Feed. After all, the Giraffe Talk visitors got to witness the incredibly rare live birth of one of the world’s most incredible animals!
Come along to see little Geoffrey and his family at Noah’s Ark yourself – if you book your day tickets online you’ll get a 5% discount!
We are open from Monday – Saturday, 10:30am – 5pm. For more information about our giraffes or other big zoo animals visit the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm website or call 01275 852606.