Other than Happy New Year, the next most common phrase spoken today will be: wheres it gone?
This year seems to have flown passed (excuse the pun) not just for us but for everyone, why? I have no idea. We have packed a lot in to what is now officially the wettest year on record, trust us to pick that year to build our largest development ever but the contractors worked amazingly hard and as quick as they could, we ended up with the most stunning building and eating area along with many other things. I know a few in the minority questioned why we had built something so large and why we spent all that money on visitors and not the animals, there’s nothing wrong with asking that and here’s the answer. Our little centre is growing rapidly and so are our supporters, at some point we had to move up from the little starter cafe that we started with all those years ago and provide something that will be future proof for many years, its called infrastructure and sadly it is a necessity, what i can tell you though is, it didn’t cost the charity one single penny and didn’t come from any funds that would have been at all attainable by the charity. Now it is up and we are getting back to the animal side of things we know it was certainly the only option and also the best one. Take a look at the pics, this is where we were last year at this time, and this is it finished…
On the parrot side of things, you will have seen in our new website (which has been a massive hit) that our academic links are becoming stronger and stronger, we are working with worldwide universities in many areas of research in order to benefit parrots and animals in captivity, this year has been brilliant when witnessing what the guys have been up to, parrots are truly amazing and when they have all their data collated you will see, it is fascinating stuff and will open up some serious discussions about parrot welfare and husbandry methods.
The new macaw building would have been complete if it weren’t for the damn rain, we had to pull off from it to get all the new drainage installed to prevent any flooding, this worked and there was just one little area where the water gathered but even that’s sorted now. Fortunately the weather has held out too and the temps are still well above average so we have no real concerns about the macaws eating their old house 🙂 which they are doing a very good job of. The new building is however looking superb and will be a real eye opener on completion, its is quite large and will easily house over 200 macaws should we need too and offer individual perching areas in case some don’t want to mix with other, it has steel double insulated walls on the internals and breeze block and timber clad on the external (don’t worry the birds cannot access this bit), the floor is fully insulated concrete with a tiled finish, it has zoned under floor heating enabling us to keep the areas to a set temperature, its common knowledge that i don’t believe in heating parrots up irrelevant of temperatures outside, parrots are more than capable of generating and retaining body heat through their built-in endothermic qualities, but that doesn’t mean they have to be permanently in freezing conditions throughout the winter months, as long as they have the choice as we have always provided then the rest is up to them. We have provided the Greys with heat for the past few years and can honestly say we have never seen more than 6 birds in the heated building which could easily hold the entire colony, but at least they have the choice,it wont be long but whenever it is completed, we know they will love it and I am sure it will open a few eyes by its design both internal and external.
All the birds and animals are doing very well, we have intentionally prevented as many birds as possible from entering the sanctuary this year due to all the development work going on but we know you are still there waiting to come in, we haven’t forgotten you guys we promise!!
In the main it has been another excellent year for our animals etc with a few additions to the species count in both fur and feather. It was while looking at this on the year-end inventory that I have realised just how many parrots we have here that have come from YPR’s (‘Yoyo’ parrot rescues) around the country, parrots where their adopters have decided not to put them back in the circuit of being passed back and forth or from pillar to post, and so gone against their own organisations regulations and placed them here, we know how difficult a decision this must have been, but take our hats off to these kind people who certainly have the birds welfare at heart. We now have over 150 birds that have come from this source and not one YPR in the country is immune from this. Showing one of the concerns we have always highlighted, ‘How do you know where the many 100s of parrots are that you have rehomed?’ the simple answer is YOU DON’T!! FACT,because they are here…
This year we also had our main Zoo Inspection (6 yearly) which we passed with the best results ever same as our BALAI inspection so thats all positive, we had many more inspections but these were just formalities and we passed every single one with flying colours.
Our new website was launched and is proving very popular and will continue to grow as time goes by and we put up more information and a few more of what you want, like web cams and personal bird stories etc, these are all in the pipeline and shouldnt be too long now.
Charitable funds were up again as anticipated and continue to grow annually, not least with help from our regular madman fund raiser Rich Fisher, who thinks of something wild and more bizarre every year, this year really pushing his self to the limits (and that poor parrot suit :-)) completing the 3 peaks challenge. Well done and a huge Thank you Rich and Whats next?
So now its just getting things ready for 2013, some big news on the horizon all that will benefit the birds and animals etc
HAPPY NEW YEAR XXXX