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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140411013 |
|Title:||Meerkats & Leopards On The Move At Ywp|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Park |
|ID & Publication:||20140411013 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
The marvellous Meerkats at award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park are enjoying a makeover that has put them at the top of the meerkat property market.
The particulars of their refurbished home will spark animal envy as they keep their sentry duty on heated outdoor rocks to keep off the chills and dig in deep sand covering the outdoor sections.
The pampering continues with indoor underfloor heating and termite mounds that are perfect for sentry duty.
The new des res -aptly named the Meerkat and Mongoose Mansion - is double the size of their previous residence, divided into three sections over 420 square metres with a new house measuring 36 square metres.
Director Cheryl Williams said:’We thought they deserved a bit of a property makeover and they now have an area twice the size of their old enclosure and a lot more natural and interesting.
‘ The Meerkats are enjoying their new home – which they share with 3 Yellow Mongoose. Yellow Mongoose will often share burrows with Meerkats in the wild and can prove very useful neighbours to have as they will kill venomous reptiles.
‘The Meerkats are always one of the most popular animals here and we hope to introduce some VIP experiences with the Meerkats in the summer when they have settled into their new home. ‘
Whilst the Meerkats were moving house just across the Park, another park resident made a move much further afield.
Dimitri, one of the three Amur leopard brothers who has been living in Leopard Heights left to fulfil his role as part of the European breeding programme.
With only approximately 45 wild Amur leopards left in their native Russian Far East, the breeding programme is critical to breed these magnificent big cats for a planned reintroduction project in their homeland.
All three of YWP’s young male leopards will have their part to play in the programme. The leopard moves are decided by the Amur Leopard Studbook Coordinator to ensure the best genetic matches for these critically endangered animals.
‘At 4 years old our leopard brothers are in their prime and ready to be paired up with a suitable females. Dimitri is the first to go and has left us to set up home in France at Zoo des Sables d’olonne,’ added Ms Williams.
’ Denzil is also due to leave this summer for Norden’s Ark Zoo in Sweden. We are now finalising the details to bring in our first female Amur Leopard, Freya, from Tallin Zoo in Estonia who will pair up with the remaining brother, Drake and we hope that they will breed in the future. It is very exciting to be part of such a ground breaking project. ‘
The meerkats moved into their magnificent new residence just in time for Easter.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, visitors can enjoy a special Easter trail. There is a prize for children, who complete the trail around the park – with the final clue giving them the name of an animal that will win them a prize!
As ever, visitors will be able to enjoy hours of family fun at YWP, which brings them a heartbeat away from some of the world's most beautiful and rare animals, including the Amur Leopards, Tigers and the African Hunting Dogs.
This year there are two weather proof havens - – a giant play barn and the new Zoom Super Slide Barn, which has an Astra slide and two drop slides (height restrictions apply).
In the 600 sqm Monkey Play barn – the perfect place to warm up with a drink in the 120 seater cafe - there is play equipment on 3 levels.
Inspired by the climbing ability of real monkeys, the play area includes wooden climbing frames and towers, dens, slides, swings and rope bridges. There is also a soft play area for the under 5’s.
Children are transfixed by the antics of the baboons visible through a glass wall in their new enclosure next door.
YWP is home to a huge variety of animals from around the world - Zebra, Antelope, Giraffes, Meerkats, Wallabies, Squirrel Monkeys, Marmosets, Camels and lots more.
Meanwhile, Lion Country is home to the lions rescued from a run-down zoo in Romania. Endangered Amur Tigers Vladimir and Sayan roam in Land of the Tiger and there are the park's rarest inhabitants at Leopard Heights, the world’s largest and most spectacular leopard enclosure. Home to Amur Leopards, the most endangered big cat on the planet, it is a spectacular design with an 8 meter tall viewing tower and 10-metre long glass viewing window.
Voted Yorkshire’s Most Magnificent Attraction 2012, YWP is Yorkshire’s most acclaimed and fastest growing tourist attraction and offers a magical day for every member of the family.
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