I can only offer my full apologies for the big blog gap, and to put it as it is, we have just been so busy, rubbish excuse it seems i know but its true, we have broken all our existing business records. It does seem that you love it here and love the work we do to. We are still busy and in the 1st week of September, if we dont get one more visitor this year, we will still have done better than last, but at least i will now have a little more time to get back to my work, and that includes blogging 🙂
Parrots first and foremost, its been a little too hot over long durations for the birds but they have coped well and our amazing animal keepers have bowed to their needs with cold fruit by the bucket load or should I say basket load…. We are in two minds about a new idea that was suggested using wire shopping baskets to present the fruit. We have negotiated a deal with a major fruit supplier enabling us to obtain a little under 3 ton of fresh fruit per week, this is all human graded fruit and not supermarket gear, in fact this is better than what you would get from supermarkets as we get it before they do. The major problem was we have to collect it and then on return sort and distribute it around the enclosures, obviously a number of problems were highlighted very quickly, the main ones being, it had to be presented in parrot proof dispensers, trays etc, and we had to be able to exchange it relatively quickly due to the fact we are also feeding the local wasp population.
A member of public who also happens to be a breeder mentioned he bought some wire shopping baskets and they worked for him perfectly, now we thought that was an excellent idea so off we went and purchased 100, so on Ben arriving at work his first job was to unload the fresh fruit delivery put it in the waiting baskets so as the staff arrive their first job is to go around, take yesterdays out and put the new in, so fresh fruit delivered in the aviaries every day and yesterdays taken to the compost, well in theory it should work nicely but in reality its not the best idea, yes it gives access to all the fruit at all angles and the parrots cant destroy them but the aesthetics just arent there, it just looks like a basket of fruit in the middle of an aviary, so if you have any ideas please let us know.
The new walk-through aviary is as usual a massive success, you love it and are not ashamed to tell us, due to this bit of the zoo you visit dwell time has on average increased by a further 1 hour and that is amazing for us has we know we are doing something right, how? Easy, you tell us. On filling out our visitor survey forms to which 1000s have already been completed you tell us what your likes and dislikes are in order for us to act, and the overall impression is: you love it. Phew!!! 🙂 It isnt actually fully finished yet but all that needs finishing is decoration so nothing detrimental for the birds.
The greater vasa parrots have bred again this year and this fell perfect for our cognition research program which one of the PHD students is working on, as it has now doubled up to a relationship study also, and the babies are doing very well just leaving the nest now so all good and exciting there.
While talking babies, the Meerkat family has just grown by six, yes six new babies all doing very well and just coming up to 2 weeks old, theyve been born just in time to move into their new extended enclosure which is without doubt one of the largest in the country covering an area 120ft long X 40ft wide and looks spectacular, again we are just finishing that final stages and theyre ok for a few years.
The baby lemurs are growing up now already independent of mom just using her for the odd ride around the place or a loving cuddle which they get a few times a day.
I will not spill everything as I am hoping to get back into regular blogging now, we just have to sort everything for the big change over and we should be able to inform you of some big news very shortly……very exciting if it all goes as planned 🙂
So for now, thanks for reading, i will also be tweeting again @parrotzoo & @parrotman