By James Cretney, Chief Executive at Marwell Wildlife
In my last blog, I mentioned plans regarding enlarging our snow leopard enclosure. We want to have more of these amazing big cats and, when allowed to by the European breeding coordinator, get back to breeding again. The great news I wanted to share with you is that this week, we were able to give the project the green light. Work will start in a couple of months.
Wishing to meet all the behavioural needs of these magnificent creatures, our proposed enclosure, when completed, will offer about three times more space and allow us greater flexibility in our care of them. We will take the opportunity to tell the story of our own snow leopard conservation work in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China, and offer you new ways to view them in the zoo.
As a start to a wider carnivore plan here at Marwell, we will also launch, later in the year, a fundraising campaign which I will invite you to join, as your support will be vital for this project. This will help us achieve our goal of displaying large cats to their finest and continue with our charitable work overseas in support of their future, as charismatic apex predators, as their role and vulnerability is so relevant.
As I have said before, May is always my favourite month here at Marwell, the parkland is in full flourish and of course we have new arrivals. Since last month, the southern caracara I mentioned are now on show and settling in well. We have also welcomed a male blesbok calf, a very rare and exciting triplet of cotton-headed tamarins, and lots of chicks such as blue-faced honeyeaters, and red-tailed laughingthrush. And I also must not forget over 10,000 leafcutter ants which have arrived as our new colony in the Tropical House. So, plenty to look out for if you are visiting this May half-term, as I hope you will.