Friday, 29 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
At Dartmoor Zoo we have a carefully designed enrichment programme which means that our animals receive a variety of different types of enrichment on a regular basis. We monitor and record their response to the items we provide so that we know what is successful with each species or individual, and what we need to change or withdraw altogether. A few weeks ago one of our keepers had the idea of hanging up a pelt for some of our small carnivores. They would normally have skin and fur present on their meat, but on its own, and hanging from a branch it encouraged a great deal of activity both from our female red fox Bramble and our female Siberian lynx Kiruna. Kiruna can be seen with this enrichment in the short video clip below.
Friday, 8 January 2010
This week at Dartmoor Zoo we have not escaped the heavy snowfall, icy roads and freezing conditions that have plagued the country. On Wednesday morning the treacherous driving conditions meant that many staff were unable to even get to the zoo. Hundreds of schools and offices in Devon have been shut for the last few days, but when animals are involved, life must go on as normal. They of course still need to be fed, watered, cleaned out and cared for, the same as every other day. Most of the keeping staff have made it in every day so far to do just this. Zoo keeping is hard work at the best of times, but this week that has been an understatement!
The keepers' favourite weapon is a long metal pole with a large bar on the end. It is very heavy and you can always tell who's done the cat round because they are collapsed over the table at break time!
Thursday, 7 January 2010
Pip McGarry, Chairman of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society, describes himself as a self- taught artist but attributes his natural talent to his artistic family background. Working mainly in oils, his originals are extremely popular. His success has enabled him to raise thousands of pounds for a variety of conservation projects including the Dambari Field Research Station for Black Rhinos in Zimbabwe, the Epulu Okapi Game Reserve Appeal in Zaire, and Save the Tiger. He has hosted several art exhibitions across the country and is keen to make use of the excellent facilities here at DZP.
The competition will cover five categories; World Mammals, Birds, British Wildlife, Animals in Action and All Other Wildlife. Pip, who has also judged the BBC Wildlife Art Competition, will head a panel of three judges for the competition which will be open to anyone over 17 years of age.
Entry deadline is the 8th May and artists’ submissions must be delivered to the zoo on Sunday 23rd May. The top 50 pictures will be chosen and exhibited at DZP for a private viewing on Friday 28th May. The exhibition will then be open to the public on the 29th May for 7 days during which visitors will have the opportunity to purchase an original work for themselves.
We intend this to be the first of many exhibitions which will include photographic and sculptural works. The zoo is the perfect setting for such events, and Pip’s track record as an artist and event organiser make this one a must-see. Works from Pip’s previous exhibitions are rated among the best in the country.
If you feel inspired to take part why not use our animals as subjects? Our excellent open-front enclosures are ideal for anyone trying to capture images of wildlife at its best.
For competition entry details please contact George Hyde. For more information about Pip McGarry and a sample of his excellent work visit: www.pipmcgarry.com.