Virus won’t stop new animal arrivals at park

21 April 2020 3 By revilosk8
Virus won’t stop new animal arrivals at park

While much of human life has come to a standstill thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, the animal kingdom continues undeterred.

Kingston Maurward College’s Animal Park has welcomed the arrival of baby wallabies – or joeys – and Saddleback piglets and is expecting more arrivals in the weeks and months to come.

Laura Chatton, Animal Welfare and Education Coordinator at the Animal Park and Gardens, said: “We have had a few pleasant little deliveries at Kingston Maurward Animal Park over the last few weeks, to keep us smiling and on our toes

“First, one of our Bennett’s wallabies, who had been keeping her little bundle hidden from view, gave us a glimpse of her joey for the first time. It seemed a little ironic really, that the little one was just beginning to emerge from its confinement, as we, their human caretakers and loyal visitors, were just being ushered into our own isolation.

“Despite this unusual situation we find ourselves in, working with animals means that there are innumerable occasions to make you smile every day that you are with them. The joey is now appearing quite regularly, although has not yet ventured out of its mother’s pouch completely. The little face and front paws peer up at us in greeting as we unlock the walk-though enclosure first thing in the morning for the breakfast feed.

“We do not have long to appreciate this idyllic little sight however, since the rest of the enclosures’ residents run, hop and flutter to meet us; wallabies, pygmy goats and guinea fowl.

“In June we look forward to the arrival of the pygmy goat kids, and also the Soay lambs, but until then we have the excitement of the Saddleback piglets that were born during March. Since the poor weather of winter left us with extremely boggy paddocks, our two pregnant sows were offered five star accommodation of a lovely deep straw bed inside a nice cosy house.

“They kept us waiting for a long time before they farrowed; it’s usually very easy to work out when a pig is going to give birth as they are pregnant for three months, three weeks and three days, however it seemed that once these two ladies were moved in next to one another, one wanted to wait for the other before giving birth. They are now enjoying dozing in the warm weather whilst nine gorgeous little piglets run around them.”