Saturday, 14 October 2017

Polecat Release


Our polecats have done really well again this year, and both our females Oriel and Cassie had litters of kits. Cassie has been off display most of this year with our male Billy, and had 5 kits. While on display in our main enclosure Oriel and Whitstable had 4 kits, which I am sure many of you have seen grow, play and mature over the summer. 

Above is one of Oriel's daughters, taken a couple of weeks a go. Isn't she gorgeous?!?... Really takes after her mum, who I think is the prettiest polecat I have ever seen. Really sleek and dark with the classic face mask. 



And this is one of Oriel and Whitstable's sons. Another handsome chap. You can see how they have grown over the summer, all big and healthy and ready for their next move. 



Here are the other two, and below two of the kits with mum Oriel at the front...



Last weekend Ferret Rescue Surrey came to collect them, along with Cassie's kits, and took them off to be released in to the wild. As with previous years, they are soft released to give them a real good start at "wild" life and the Ferret Rescue Surrey team do a fantastic job in monitoring them and keeping an eye on how they cope once our on their own.



So, Oriel is looking a bit more relaxed now with out the youngsters constantly playing and annoying her. Now that they have gone, we have been able to move Whitstable back out on to display with her.



Hopefully they will continue their success, and have another litter next year.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Photo of the Month: September 2017

"Snarling Wildcat" by Andy Lowe

September is over, and so it is time to share some more visitor photos with you. We had a lot of wildcat photos pop up over the internet this month, many of which were of our kittens, but it is this photo above of their dad "Macavity" showing off what wildcats are best known for that we chose for our photo for September.

This photo was taken by Andy Lowe, and you can see more of his work by following the link in his name. Andy's photo will be on display in our coffee shop gallery next year, and he will be in with a chance of winning a photographic day here at the Centre if selected by our professional judge at the end of the year.

Below are a few more pictures from last month.


"Wildcat Kittens" by Moi Hicks


"Black Water Vole" by Cathryn (Redcat09)


"Rutting Deer" by Irene Ford


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Red Deer Rut


Our red deer are beginning to think about rutting, and the last few days has seen our master stag Albus Dumbledeer start to roar. Nothing too impressive, but signs of things to come over the coming weeks.

It could be a good rut this year, with our second stag Olivander closer in size to Albus than before and with a nice wide spread of antler. He certainly thinks he may have a chance, and has even rounded up the females for himself a few times as you can see below.



Still  not in the full flow though. A few more days and they will start bellowing out, and possibly in to next month we may see some clashing of antlers.

Friday, 15 September 2017

New Keeper: Millie


Welcome to our newest member of the keeper team... Millie.

Millie has just joined us to help with all the daily routines and looking after the many groups that come to see the animals. She has recently graduated from Plumpton College where she studied Animal Management, and is now looking forward to getting stuck in to a career working with animals.

I am sure you will all make Millie feel welcome when you see her around the Centre.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Red Squirrels to Caldey Island


We have had another successful year with our red squirrels this year, several litters of kittens born in our off display pens and at our other holders sites. As with all out kittens, we redistribute them around our breeding group, and then look at the possibility of re-introducing them out in to the wild.

This year we have several kittens that can be sent to the wild, and as with our previous releases, we are continuing with the idea of introducing them to islands where there are no grey squirrels to affect them.



Last week we sent a dozen squirrels over to Caldey Island in Pembrokeshire. These, along with a few others from previous years, we are hoping will settle and mimic the success we have had on other islands such as Tresco.

So far so good, and hopefully we will be able to share with you news of how they are doing over the winter.