Improvements and exciting new animals for our Animal Management Unit
Our animal management students have some exciting new animals to get to know this year, including three Northern Flying Squirrels which are housed in a special nocturnal room of the animal management unit. These squirrels, together with the Sugar Gliders that we already possess, will make great research projects and allow students to conduct comparison studies, such as how they breed their young.
In our Aquarium room we have two Marine tanks, housed within the wall, one of which has been significantly enlarged to hold 1.5 tonnes (1,500 litres) of water. The tank now runs using a Triton filtration system which removes the need to add extra salt. A new coral environment has been added, that within 2 years, will grow up giving a truly impressive display. The second tank will also be enlarged and moved onto a Triton water system.
Within our Reptile Room we have added four Steppe Runner Lizards and upgraded the lighting to SuperZoo Light Units (as used by London Zoo), these will help to reduce energy consumption and increase the amount of UVB available to the animals. We also have 3 new Pancake Tortoises – two females (former pets) and 1 male, born at Paignton Zoo and a breeding pair of Ocellated Uromastyx. These lizards originate from Sudan and are among the most colourful species of Uromastyx.
We have recently rescued ‘Kofi’ a Bosc/Savannah via the RSPCA, which is a very large species of monitor lizard native to Africa. He will be used to provide our students with experience of large animal handling and he will also be trained to follow a target, open mouth and move around.
Outside, our 2 new South American Rhea, a male and a female, are quite impressive (the largest of all South American birds).
However, easily stealing the ‘cuteness award’ are our new five-month old Pygmy Goats, which have already been making a name for themselves on social media.
Another very cute addition are our three Common Marmosets, which have come from 5 Sisters Zoo. This is the first week the students have started working with them and started entering the enclosure. These monkeys will provide excellent opportunities for our degree-level students’ research projects on subjects such as behaviour and nutrition.