Brand new for 2016 our Half Day Animal Keeper Experience. This encounter gives anyone from the age of 6 upwards the chance to meet a huge variety of animals including Servals, Lemurs, Meerkats, Owls, Reptiles, Hedgehogs and Giant Tortoise.
The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of five lemur families, and is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all lemurs it is endemic to the island of Madagascar. Known locally in Malagasy as maky ([makʲ] ( listen), spelled maki in French) or hira, it inhabits gallery forests to spiny scrub in the southern regions of the island. It is omnivorous and the most terrestrial of extant lemurs. The animal is diurnal, being active exclusively in daylight hours. [credits: Wikipedia]
The serval /ˈsɜːrvəl/ (Leptailurus serval), also known as the tierboskat, is a wild cat found in Africa. The sole member of the genus Leptailurus, it was first described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776. Eighteen subspecies are recognised. The serval is a slender, medium-sized cat that stands 54–62 centimetres (21–24 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–18 kilograms (18–40 lb). It is characterised by a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat spotted and striped with black, and a short, black-tipped tail. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size. [credits: Wikipedia]
he meerkat is a small carnivoran belonging to the mongoose family (Herpestidae). It is the only member of the genus Suricata. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”. A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about half this in the wild. [credits: Wikipedia]
Running from 10am to 1pm, this new experience takes place in groups of 8 people allowing everyone ample time to handle, feed and stroke the array of animals. From Kovu and Uuka the Meerkats to Bonnie the Burmese Python, or Oscar the Eagle Owl to Duma the Serval, there is something for everyone.
An example itinerary:
9.45am – Arrive at Hoo Farm and check in for your experience.
10am – Receive a safety brief from the Hoo Farm staff and start on your experience.
10am – 10.20am – Meet and stroke Duma and Zeus the Servals
10.20am – 10.40am – Meet and Feed our Ringtailed Lemurs
10.40am – 11am – Feed and bathe our Giant Tortoise.
11am – 11.40am – The favourite part of most peoples day: meet and cuddle our hand reared Meerkats.
11.40am – 12pm – A short drink break with a free soft drink for all participants.
12.00pm – 1.00pm – For the last hour you will meet, handle and stroke our Reptiles, Owls and Hedgehogs.