Article Source: South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture
First Published: 14 July 2020 16:02
Updated: 14 July 2020 16:03
Staff at the East Kilbride attraction have kept busy through the lockdown period tending to the animals, developing new and updated enclosures and welcoming some new additions.
They have also been active ensuring that visitors will be able to maintain physical distancing and stay safe while exploring the zoo.
Additional safety measures in place will include:
• limited visitor numbers in the zoo at any one time
• a one-way system in place passing all of the animals during your visit
• frequent cleaning in high contact areas
• hand sanitiser on entry and exit from the zoo
• there will be no animal encounters or experiences at this time
• only card payments will be accepted
• no pre-booking is required, however please be mindful of the restricted numbers
Chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Councillor Peter Craig said: “I am delighted that we are able to safely open the zoo again as we carefully and safely navigate the route out of full lockdown.
“I am sure many local people, and especially parents, will be looking forward to a visit, and the team at the zoo are looking forward to welcoming them in. I would encourage visitors to ensure they are familiar with arrangements that have been put in place to protect public health, and I thank them for their patience if the limit on visitor numbers means they are required to wait for entry.”
Changes in the zoo include repairs to the Amazon Pond display which is underneath the Goeldi’s monkeys enclosure where visitors first enter the conservatory - it is now home to the cichlids that were in the big fish tank in the conservatory. A waterfall feature has also been added.
The old fish tank has now been converted into a home for African plated lizards. It has been redesigned to mimic their natural, arid, semi-desert habitat of southern Africa, with plenty of rocks to hide under and sand areas to explore.
Meanwhile, outside there is a new addition to the collection - a striped skunk, Anansie has settled in well to her new home and enjoys playing with the keepers. Visitors are being encouraged to not give her any surprises in case she reacts in the style for which skunks are most famed.
Calderglen Zoo has been regularly updating people with the behind the scenes activities during lockdown on the Calderglen Park Facebook page. Subjects covered included ‘guess the animal’ quizzes, species info and National Insect Week, where plans were shared to build a bug-friendly garden hotel at home.
The staff also spotted some interesting behaviour with animals both wild and resident during lockdown. A wild fox made her home in the zoo and successfully reared cubs (much to the irritation of the rabbits and guinea pigs).
The peace and quiet of lockdown may also see another new arrival in the future. The Parma Wallabies were observed mating during May and June, but whether this will result in a lockdown baby remains to be seen, as wallabies do not leave their mother’s pouches for 10 months after their birth.
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