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Staff at West Midland Safari Park have been treating their big cats to some seasonal gifts – their very own Easter eggs.
To coincide with the Park’s Easter Eggstravaganza, whilst guests can enjoy the spectacle of 50 giant eggs, dotted around the Park, keepers created some large papier-mâché eggs for the animals, complete with colourful animal print patterns.
The Easter treats were then used as enrichment for the Park’s cheetahs and Sumatran tigers. Keepers filled the eggs with bits of meat and placed them in the big cats’ enclosures, ready for their very own Easter egg hunt!
Carnivore Keeper, Kasha Carter, said, “Enrichment is really important for all of our carnivores and we have a varied enrichment programme, which we implement daily. This includes things like boomer balls, puzzle boxes, scent trails, hide and seek (with meat) and novelty items such as these papier-mâché eggs. Enrichment simulates natural behaviours and keeps them active, so it’s an important part of a keeper’s job and we enjoy coming up with new ideas.”
She continued, “We loved watching the big cats with their Easter treats and it was really interesting to see how the different species reacted to them. The cheetahs are quite naturally cautious, so Cody and Epezi approached the eggs warily, before nudging them aside to find the meat.
“By contrast, our female tiger, Hujan, ran excitedly straight to them and started playing with them, tossing them in the air and rolling them around, using her paws. She then carried them away to protect them from her companion Nakal and started tearing them apart to get to the meat hidden inside. We hope all of our guests have just as good a time eating their chocolate eggs, as our big cats!”
The Park is home to five different species of carnivore and there is an enrichment programme tailor made for each group’s different behaviours and interests. For example, the African wild dogs love anything they can destroy as a team, whereas just like a domestic cat, the lions cannot resist a cardboard box (albeit a very large one!).
Eagle-eyed visitors may be able to spot different forms of enrichment as they explore the Park this Easter. They will also be able to take part in an interactive Eggsplorer’s Trail, where they will have to find the missing eggs hidden around the Park, to be rewarded with a chocolate treat.
There will also be an exclusive competition, which involves guests taking a picture with the final egg on the trail and posting it to the Safari Park’s Facebook page, to be in with the chance of winning a Family Annual Pass.
This experience provides access to Penguin Cove and a chance to get up close to our Humboldt penguins. During this 20-minute encounter, you will get to learn all about the penguins whilst offering enrichment and feeding them fishy treats.
Speak to our Experiences Team regarding what dates and times are available.
Phone 01299 406461 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
£65.00 per person (aged 6+ years.)
Admission and ride wristbands are NOT included in the Penguin Feed Experience.
Please note that timings are subject to change.
Arrive at WMSP in good time before your experience. Please be aware that during the holidays and summer months, it can take longer to get through the front gates. You will need to proceed through the admission kiosks and park your vehicle.
10.55am – Make your way down to the Experiences Kiosk, located at the front of the Lost City Plaza, where you will be greeted by your Safari Guide.
11.00am – Arrive at Penguin Cove where you will be met by our experienced Penguin Keepers. You will get to go up onto the beach to meet the penguins and learn lots of interesting facts about them as well as feeding them some fishy treats. Your Safari Guide will take photographs throughout the experience, which we will put on a memory stick for you to take home.
11.30am – Your Safari Guide will take you to the Dino Diner for a snack and drink. After this, you are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail, and African Village. Don’t forget to watch the Sea Lion Shows at 1.30pm or 3.30pm.
Congo Carousel (if accompanied)
Dr. Umboto’s Catacombs
Rescue Fire Rangers
Slippery Snake Slide (if accompanied)
Flying Lion Kings
African Big Apple Coaster
Wild River Rafting
Jungle Cat Dodgems
Slippery Snake Slide
Zambezi Water Splash
Twister (if accompanied)
Jungle Cat Dodgems
Slippery Snake Slide
African Big Apple Coaster (if accompanied)
Jumbo Parade (if accompanied)
Pirate Ship (if accompanied)
Rhino Rollercoaster (if accompanied)
Shark Island (if accompanied)
Wild River Rafting (if accompanied by an adult)
Hurtling Hippos (if accompanied)
Jungle Cat Dodgems (if accompanied)
Zambezi Water Splash (if accompanied by an adult)
General information about West Midland Safari Park along with an assortment of logos can be found in our Press Pack.
Click on the link to download the Summer Press Pack (information valid until 8th November 2019).
This experience provides an exclusive tour behind the scenes of our state-of-the-art African Lion House while meeting our pride of lions.
£150.00 per person (aged 6+ years. Children aged 6-15 years must be accompanied by a full paying adult).
Please note that timings are subject to change. Timings may be earlier during the school holidays.
9.20am – Arrive at WMSP and pull over on the left-hand side of the main drive. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will greet you. They will escort you to the main car park and then embark on our special Safari vehicle.
9.50am – Arrive at our African Lion House. Your VIP guide will give you a tour behind the scenes. You will see the lions in their outdoor compound and have an opportunity to feed them. Afterwards, the lions will be released into the reserves.
10.30am – Time for a refreshment in Dino Diner.
11.00am – You are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail, and African Village.
Don’t forget to call in at Reception to pick up your memory stick and Free Return Ticket.
This experience gives you the chance to meet and participate in the feeding of our tigers before the Park is open to the general public. You will be driven in a Safari vehicle to the Cheetah Plains where your 30-minute encounter will begin. You will then have the opportunity to meet with our highly experienced Carnivore Keepers who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
£125.00 per person (aged 6+ years. Children aged 6-15 years must be accompanied by a full paying adult).
9.15am – Arrive at WMSP and pull over on the left-hand side of the main drive. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will greet you. They will then direct you to park in the main car park where you will transfer vehicles and receive the safety briefing.
9.25am – Arrive at Tiger Ridge. You will meet the tigers and will have the opportunity to feed one. Your Safari Guide will take photos.
10.00am – Your guide will take you to Dino Diner for a hot drink and a snack.
10.30am – You are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
This experience gives you the chance to meet and participate in the feeding of our cheetahs before the Park is open to the general public. You will be driven in a Safari vehicle to the Cheetah Plains where your 30-minute encounter will begin. You will then have the opportunity to meet with our highly experienced Carnivore Keepers who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
£95.00 per person (aged 6+ years. Children aged 6-15 years must be accompanied by a full paying adult).
9.15am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and you will be greeted by your Safari Guide. They will escort you to the main car park to park your vehicle before heading off into the Safari Drive-through.
9.25am – Arrive at Cheetah Plains. You will meet the cheetahs and help to feed them. Photos will be taken during this time.
10.00am – Your guide will take you to Dino Diner for your refreshment break.
10.30am – You are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail, and African Village. You could also purchase a ride wristband and enjoy our Adventure Theme Park!
Come face-to-face with our herd of giraffe and participate in their morning feed before the Park is open to the general public. Throughout your 30-minute encounter, you will be accompanied by a personal Safari Guide who will teach you fascinating facts about the giraffes and answer any questions you may have.
£95.00 per person (aged 6+ years.).
Please note that timings are subject to change. Timings will be earlier during the main school holidays.
9.15am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will meet you. They will then direct you to park in the main car park and then embark on our special Safari vehicle.
9.25am – Arrive at the Giraffe House, where you will be met by one of our experienced Hoof Stock Keepers. You will meet the giraffes and help to feed them. Your Safari Guide will take photographs, which we will put on a memory stick for you to take home.
This experience gives you the chance to meet and participate in the feeding of our lemurs in one of the largest Lemur Woods in the UK. This is a truly unique experience which gets you up close to our friendly lemurs.
£40.00 per person (aged over 12 years. Children aged 12-15 years must be accompanied by an adult to watch from the path.)
Admission and ride wristbands are NOT included in the Lemur Feed Experience.
Our VIP Tours are a unique treat for anyone who is an animal lover and would like to see a little of what goes on behind the scenes at the Safari Park!
You will get the chance to travel through the Safari Drive-through in an authentic safari vehicle before we open to the general public. Your guide will give you fascinating facts and insight into everyday life for the keepers and animals. You will be able to get up close and personal to our rhinos, giraffes, sea lions and even some of our new arrivals.
£175.00 per person (6+ years).
Book exclusive use of the whole jeep for only £875.00 (seats up to six people).
A guided tour of the four-mile Safari by minibus is a great experience for the whole family. You will learn more about the animals and for the whole family to enjoy the experience. Our knowledgeable minibus drivers have special tales to tell and provide great entertainment for adults and children alike!
Book seats online in advance when booking admission tickets:
Speak to our Experiences Team. Phone 01299 406461 or Email email@example.com
£6.50 per person
Admission and ride wristbands are NOT included with the Minibus Tours and will need to be purchased separately.
Staff at West Midland Safari Park are busy putting together the finishing touches for their annual Easter Eggstravaganza event and the animals are getting involved too!
From 13-28 April, over 50 giant, brightly-coloured eggs will be popping up all over the Park’s walk-through areas, including the Sea Lion Theatre, home to three California sea lions – Callum, Jack and Bounty.
To get the trio ready for Easter, keepers incorporated one of the giant eggs into the sea lions’ daily enrichment, placing the egg on their ‘beach’ for them to discover and play with.
Head Keeper of the Discovery Trail, Amy Sewell, said, “Our sea lions are getting super eggcited for Easter. We introduce our sea lions to lots of different enrichment throughout the year, as sea lions require a lot of mental stimulation. This can range from a puzzle feeder, to training, to a giant egg. Each new thing is interesting to them in a different way.”
She continued, “We loved watching the boys eggsplore their new toy. The egg was very different from anything they have ever had before. They eggspecially enjoyed pushing it into the water, (the keepers did not, as it meant having to try and fish it out before it sank!).”
The giant eggs will form part of an interactive Eggsplorer’s Trail, where guests will be invited to help find the missing eggs hidden around the Park, to be rewarded with a chocolate treat.
Guests can learn more about the amazing sea lions in the daily shows, alongside other encounters such as penguin, hippo and meerkat feeds, friendly animal encounters, lemur talks and discover reptiles talks.
Families can enjoy all of the Easter fun included as part of the standard admission charge.
This experience offers a thrilling morning spent in the company of some of our most popular cats. Meet and feed our tigers, cheetahs and lions here at the Park during this 90-minute experience. You will also have a private tour of the state-of-the-art Lion House.
£400.00 per person or £700.00 for two people (aged 16+ years).
8.30am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will greet you. They will then direct you to park in the main car park and then embark on our special Safari vehicle.
8.40am – Arrive with your Safari Guide at our African Lion House, where you will be met by our experienced Carnivore Keepers and tour the lion facility. You will help the Keepers let the lions out into the Lion Reserve. You will then embark into our specially-designed lion-feeding cage for the experience of a lifetime. You will drive into the midst of our Lion Reserve and will get the opportunity to feed them.
9.45am – Your Safari guide will take you next to Cheetah Plains where you will meet the Cheetah Keepers and feed some of our cheetahs.
10.15am – Next stop is Tiger Ridge where our Tiger Keepers will meet you and will explain our tiger enrichment and training regimes. You will also get the opportunity to feed one of our tigers. Your Safari Guide will take photographs of all your encounters, which we will put on a memory stick for you to take home.
10.45am – Your Guide will take you to Dino Diner for a hot drink and a snack.
11.15am – You are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail, and African Village.
Meet a sea lion up close and personal as you teach them some tricks and receive a kiss on the hand as a thank you! You will watch one of our daily Sea Lion Shows and be invited up on their stage!
£30.00 per person (5+ years).
Admission and ride wristbands are NOT included in the Sea Lion Show Experience.
This experience provides you with the opportunity to pop the question in a way you and your partner will never forget. Meet and feed our lions in the state-of-the-art Lion House then. when the time is right, it will be over to you for the big moment. We will provide a bouquet of flowers and champagne to celebrate.
£350.00 for two people
This experience provides you with the opportunity to pop the question in a way you and your partner will never forget. Meet and feed our troop of lemurs, then, when the time is right, it will be over to you for the big moment. We will provide a bouquet of flowers and champagne to celebrate.
£175.00 for two people
This fantastic experience will get you to get up close with our Humboldt penguins and Californian sea lions. Spend your day with our Discovery Trail Keepers helping them with feeds, shows and enrichment.
£150.00 per person (aged 16+ years).
Please note that timings are subject to change. Timings on certain dates will run an hour earlier.
9.30am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will meet you. They will then direct you to park in the main car park and then embark on our special Safari vehicle.
9.35am – First stop will be at our Penguin Exhibit where you will meet the penguins, help to rake the sand in their exhibit, clean the glass and put out the enrichment for the penguins.
11.00am – Time for a quick break for a well-deserved cup of tea!
11.15am – Assist with preparation for the penguin feed.
11.30am – Clean out the penguin house and pools.
12.30pm – Now it’s time to help the keeper present the Penguin Feed.
1.00pm – Get ready for the Sea Lion Show and watch a training session.
1.30pm – Sea Lion Show time! You will be introduced to the audience as a VIP keeper.
2.00pm – Lunch in Dino Diner with one of our keepers. They will be able to answer any of your questions and tell you about the other animals at the Park too.
2.30pm – The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish. You can use your VIP wristband for unlimited rides in the Adventure Theme Park, explore the rest of the Discovery Trail or take a tour around the Safari in your own car.
This experience gives you the chance to experience a feeding encounter with our lions in a specially-designed cage. Step into your cage and be driven into the lion enclosure where our big cats will be waiting! Your 30-minute encounter includes the opportunity to meet with our highly experienced Carnivore Keepers who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
£250.00 per person (aged 16+ years.)
8.45am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and your Safari Guide will meet you. They will then direct you to park in the main car park and then embark on our special Safari vehicle.
9.00am – Enter the Safari with your Safari Guide, where you will be met by our experienced carnivore keepers. You will embark into our specially designed lion-feeding cage for the experience of a lifetime. You will be driven into the midst of our Lion Reserve, now comes the opportunity to feed the lions! Your Safari Guide will take photographs, which we will put on a memory stick for you to take home.
10.00am – Your guide will take you Dino Diner for a hot drink and a snack.
10.30am – You are now free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail, and African Village.
This fantastic experience will enable you to meet, feed and generally care for our three Indian rhinos. Travel to the Indian Rhino House and help with morning routines and training sessions. You will also go out on patrol with the Keepers and be able to see other animals on the Asiatic section.
8.40am – Arrive at WMSP main drive and pull over on the left-hand side. Please remain in your vehicle and you will be greeted by your Safari Guide. You will park in the main car park and then embark in our special Safari vehicle.
9.00am – First stop is the Indian Rhino House. This is the time of day that the rhinos are still in their house so you will be able to meet the rhinos and help with morning routines, feeds, and training sessions.
9.30am – A photo opportunity with the rhinos will take place. You will be able to get up very close and feed some bananas to the three rhinos; Seto, Rap and Sunny.
10.00am – Time for the rhinos to go into their reserve. You will help prepare the paddocks, put out the feed and release the rhinos, all under the guidance of the Keepers.
10.30am – Now it is time to clean out the Rhino House, remove the muck, and turn the bark – so we hope you are prepared for hard work!
12.00pm – You will go out on patrol with the Keepers and be able to see the other animals on the Asiatic section, and there will be time to collect some browse for the rhinos too.
1.30pm – Lunch in Dino Diner. One of the Keepers will join you for lunch and will be able to tell you about the other animals at the Park too. The Keeper will also give you a guidebook.
2.30pm – The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish at your leisure in the Safari Drive-through, Discovery Trail and African Village. You can use your ride wristband for unlimited rides in the Adventure Theme Park or take a tour around the Safari in your own car.
This fantastic experience will enable you to meet, feed and generally care for our starts in the African Village, an unforgettable close encounter with these friendly little creatures.
8.40am – Arrive at WMSP. If you are arriving in a vehicle, pull over on the left-hand side of the driveway. Please remain in your vehicle; your Safari Guide will come and greet you. They will then escort you to the main car park before embarking in our VIP Safari Jeep. If you are arriving on foot, please make your way to main Reception instead.
9.00am – First stop will be at our Meerkat House. At this time of day, the meerkats are still inside so you will be able to meet them and help with morning routines.
10.00am – Time to meet the lemurs. You will get to give them their breakfast and let them out into their fantastic woodland exhibit.
10.30am – Now it is time to clean out the Lemur House. This means removing the muck and replacing all the bedding. We hope you are prepared for some hard work!
11.30am – You will go out into the Lemur Woods and help to clean the area. This will give you chance to watch the lemurs going about their daily activities. You will also help to feed the goats and sheep in African Village.
1.00pm – Last task before lunch! Time for the Lemur Talk. You will join the keeper to help present the talk by giving the lemurs a snack for their lunch. This will be a photo opportunity too.
1.30pm – Lunch in Dino Diner. One of the keepers will join you; this will give you opportunity to ask any final questions. Our keeper will be happy to tell you about the other animals at the Park too.
2.30pm – The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. You can use your VIP Wristband for unlimited rides in the Adventure Theme Park, wander through the Discovery Trail or take a tour around the Safari Drive-through. Don’t forget the other talks and shows throughout the day: timings can be found on your map.
Young keepers will get to meet our Asian rhinos, lorikeets, meerkats and lemurs as well as tours around the Reptile House and Safari Drive-through. They’ll spend the morning experiencing the life of a Keeper and the duties this entails!
This is suitable for children between the ages of 12-15 years.
£150.00 per person (aged between 12-15 years).
Mother’s Day will be a bit busier than expected for one animal at West Midland Safari Park, as a surprising new arrival has appeared in the Park’s Twilight Cave.
On the morning of 13 March, keepers were astonished to find that the Park’s pair of grey-handed douroucouli (also known as night monkeys or owl monkeys), had given birth to a teeny tiny baby.
The appearance of the minute monkey came as a complete surprise to keepers, as they had no idea that mum, eight-year-old Kyna, was pregnant. Baby douroucouli only weigh a miniscule 3oz at birth, so although the adults are weighed weekly, there was no indication that Kyna was carrying a small passenger!
Head Keeper of the Discovery Trail, Amy Sewell, said, “Finding the cute new baby was a huge surprise for our keepers! My colleague had entered the enclosure and knew that something was different when the male, Ilay, didn’t come down to say hello, as he’s usually very friendly! He then heard some tiny, unusual cries, followed by spotting a very small tail hanging down underneath Ilay’s back.
“Grey-handed night monkeys are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), so we are delighted that our two resident douroucouli have had a baby. At present, we don’t know the sex as dad is doing his job and being very protective. From day one, dad will do 90% of carrying the infant and mum will just do the feeding, which is a nice treat on Mother’s Day. We hope all of our guests have just as a relaxing time as Kyna, on Sunday!”
Even though the gender of the baby is yet to be discovered, all animals born at the Park during 2019 have to begin with ‘H’, so keepers are already thinking of names beginning with this letter.
Douroucouli are the world’s only nocturnal monkeys, so live in the Park’s Twilight Cave with their neighbours – free-flying Seba’s short-tailed bats and Rodrigues fruit bats.
They are monogamous (mate for life) and Ilay and Kyna arrived as a breeding pair from Switzerland in 2013. The adorable youngster is one of three baby douroucouli born at the Park, since its parents’ arrival.
The douroucouli can be seen in the Twilight Cave in the Discovery Trail, which is included in the group admission charge of £11.00 for adults, £10.00 for children aged 3-15 and £10.50 for concessions based on ten or more paying passengers arriving by coach or mini bus.. Children under the age of 3 are free. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.
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Take the main Hagley Road to the Quinton Expressway A456 through Hagley and Blakedown following Safari Park signs through Kidderminster to Bewdley.
Take the A449 to Kidderminster. Take the A456 to Bewdley. From the North: Take the M6 South, leave on exit 8 and join the M5. Take the M5 to exit 3 and follow the A456 through Kidderminster to Bewdley.
Take the M5 North, leave on exit 6 and follow the A449 to Kidderminster. Take the A456 to Bewdley
A brave member of staff from West Midland Safari Park is going above and beyond to fundraise for the conservation of threatened rhinos.
Senior Education Officer and Associate Lecturer, Cathy Dittrich, will be swapping the classroom in Bewdley, for the sights of London, as she partakes in the Vitality Big Half (London half-marathon) on 10 March, on behalf of Save the Rhino International (SRI).
To make this incredible challenge even more difficult, Cathy has only just started running again recently after a six-month hiatus, she has never run this distance before and she will be completing the whole 13 miles with a broken hand!
However, she insists that she could not turn down the opportunity to combine her hobby by helping the plight of one of her favourite animals.
Cathy said, “My passion for rhinos and running both started in 2010 – a life-changing year for me, as I was made redundant, quit smoking and enrolled on a level 3 Animal Care course. On a field trip to South Africa in 2011, I encountered wild rhinos on safari and met a baby rhino in a rehab centre. I was blown away by the majestic presence of these creatures and was shocked and saddened to learn that this very same year, a subspecies of the Javan rhino was declared extinct, in addition to the western black rhino.
“As I continued my studies with an Animal and Biological Sciences degree, I revisited South Africa and developed an aspiration to become a Zoo Education Officer. I wanted to share what I had learned and enthuse others about the amazing animals of this planet, in the hope that I could inspire people to care about and increase conservation efforts for animals in need.”
She continued, “Fast forward to the present and I’m now coming up to my fourth year at the Safari Park, but sadly the plight of the rhino continues. I’m hoping that this physical challenge will help fundraise for a very worthy charity, whilst raising awareness about these magnificent animals!”
Cathy and her colleagues are lucky enough to see rhinos almost every day, from their classroom windows, as the Park has a ‘crash’ of eight southern white rhinos and three Indian rhinos. This includes ‘Granville’ – the latest baby born in 2018 and a success for the Park in their contribution to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP).
The EEP aims to safeguard the future of a species vulnerable to the continued threat of poaching and habitat loss. At the last count, just over 20,000 wild southern white rhinos remained in South Africa, with 769 killed in 2018. Furthermore, three out of the five species of rhino are classed as ‘Critically Endangered.’
Cathy has set up a fundraising page so people can easily make donations to support her challenge. To make a donation, please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/cathy-dittrich-hwm-TBH-2019-16753.
All the funds raised from Cathy’s half-marathon run will go directly to SRI, which will support the fight against poaching and habitat loss across 25 field programmes in 12 countries. To find out more, visit www.savetherhino.org.
The rhinos can be seen in four-mile Safari Drive-through, which is included in the standard admission charge of £24.00 for adults, £19.00 for children aged 3-15 and £22.00 for concessions. Admission includes a Free Return Ticket. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.
West Midland Safari Park is kick-starting its new season with Explorers Week, a fun-filled half term event, centred around the Ice Age.
From 16 February, the Park is once again open daily and to celebrate the start of the summer season, guests are invited to come and explore the Park’s many attractions, including the Ice Age exhibit, newly opened last year.
During the event, guests will be encouraged to help onsite palaeontologist, Dr. Nock, find some missing Ice Age animals. They will have to search and explore the Park’s Ice Age exhibit, collecting facts about the amazing animals they encounter. Once they have completed this challenge, they will be able to collect a prize.
There will also be the option to do some fun arts and crafts in the Craft Club and be in with the chance of winning a Safari Park Annual Pass, by taking a selfie with the Park’s woolly mammoths.
Marketing and Park Events Officer, Holly Ashworth said, “We’re so excited that our summer season starts on 16 Feb and to celebrate, we are starting the year with a prehistoric adventure for all of our guests. During the schools’ half term, our new Ice Age-themed Explorers Week offers lots of fun for children and adults alike. We hope families will bring along their little explorers and will enjoy searching for the missing animals, whilst learning some fun facts along the way.”
Additional to all of the Explorers Week activities, the Adventure Theme Park will be open again, where guests can enjoy a number of rides; from plummeting 30ft to the ground on Venom Tower Drop, to a leisurely ride on the Congo Carousel.
There is also the four-mile self-drive safari, where guests can spot the latest babies – Grace and Gamba the Grévy’s zebra foals, Gerald the baby Rothschild’s giraffe and southern white rhino calf, Granville.
Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day at West Midland Safari Park, as their troop of ring-tailed lemurs celebrate with some romantic enrichment.
The Park is home to a troop of 13 ring-tailed lemurs, who can be found foraging, playing and relaxing as a family in the Lemur Woods, usually under the watchful eye of their keepers.
As a special treat for the most romantic day of the year, the keepers included some red roses in their daily enrichment, hiding the flowers around the woods, and concealing some of the lemurs’ favourite treats amongst the petals.
Deputy Head Keeper, Shelley Tudor, said, “Our troop of ring-tailed lemurs are incredibly charismatic – every single one has its own individual personality and after spending a bit of time with them, it’s not hard to see why the keepers and guests love them!”
She continued, “The troop is one big happy family, led by the dominant female Hery and male Irish. It was great to see the lemurs excitedly finding the roses, passing them to each other and investigating the new smells, textures and tastes. Although we don’t think we will be adding roses to their daily menu, as most enjoyed using the flowers as new play-things rather than a snack!”
This is not the first time the lemurs have been involved with a bit of romance. As a special VIP Experience, animal-lovers can surprise their significant other during a lemur feed proposal experience, popping the question in a way the happy couple will never forget, surrounded by the loveable primates.
Although the Park’s lemurs are well-loved by their keepers, for their wild counterparts, life isn’t as rosy. The heartbreaking reality is that lemurs are one of the most threatened mammal groups, with wild ring-tailed lemurs being listed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
Due to a variety of factors, including deforestation, hunting lemurs for food and the pet trade, over 90% of lemur species are at threat of extinction. The Safari Park, along with many other wildlife parks in the UK, support lemur conservation groups such as the LemurConservation Association (AEECL), by hosting lemur awareness weeks and fundraising activities.
West Midland Safari Park is open daily from this weekend, 16 February 2019. The ring-tailed lemurs can be seen in African Village, which is included in the standard admission charge of £24.00 for adults, £19.00 for children aged 3-15 and £22.00 for concessions. Admission includes a Free Return Ticket. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra. Information about VIP lemur experiences can be found on the VIP section of the website.
Animal keepers at West Midland Safari Park have had a busy start to the year by undertaking the annual animal stock take.
Every creature has to be counted, from the crash of huge white rhinos, down to the colony of tiny leaf cutter ants.
There will be some extra heads to count this year too, following the success of animal births in 2018. These include Granville, the baby southern white rhino, Gerald the Rothschild’s giraffe and two Grévy’s zebra foals – Grace and Gamba.
Angela Potter, Head of Wildlife said, “As part of our zoo licensing requirements, from 1 January, we complete an audit and produce a report for our Local Authority, so keepers have been out and about counting all of our animals, from elephants down to ants!
“Our wildlife administrator, Rosie Wilkes, then carefully checks our animal record system to ensure the census adds up correctly. Some animal groups, such as our white rhino herd of eight animals, are much easier to count than our colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches! Although the audit is undertaken once per year, the animal keepers keep track of the animals in their care on a daily basis.”
The total number of animals is yet to be confirmed, but as there are over 120 different species at the Park, the figure is likely to be over 800 animals. 32 species are found on the Park’s safari drive-through, whilst the remaining 88 species can be found in the African Village, Discovery Trail and Safari Academy.
West Midland Safari Park is currently open on weekends only for Wild Winter Safari until 10 Feb 2019. The Park opens daily from 16 Feb 2019. Admission is £20.00 for adults, £15.00 for children aged 3-15 years and £18.00 for concessions. Admission includes a free return ticket. The Adventure Theme Park is closed during the winter season.
Students attending West Midland Safari Park’s Animal Courses have had a great start to the year, with some excellent exam results and exceeding the national pass rate.
The Park’s Education team currently run three accredited courses, from levels one to three, in their Safari Academy – a state-of-the-art, purpose-built education centre, which opened in May 2017. The courses are run in conjunction with Kidderminster College, part of Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMET).
Students managed to exceed the national level for a ‘pass’, achieving a high number of merits and distinctions for; Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care, Level 3 Advanced Technical in Animal Management and Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Animal Management.
Education Manager, Nicola Anslow, said, “We are delighted with the excellent results achieved by all of our Animal Care and Animal Management students this year. It is a testament to the dedication of the Park’s Education team and the hard work put in by our students.
“To have results that are above the national average for both year groups in level 3, and to have obtained our best ever results for level 2 in the same year, is fantastic. We are very proud that we are able to go some way to inspiring the next level of conservationists.”
The courses are planned annually by Course Co-ordinator Ali Burton. She said, “We are so proud of the young adults that our students are becoming. We hope that many of them will go on to make valuable contributions in the industry or pursue their goals of moving on to university.”
Following the results, the students will now decide to either continue their education at the Safari Park and advance to the next level, or leave the Safari Academy to go to university or find a work alternative.
Students study at the Park from one to four years dependent upon the course. The courses are run in partnership with Kidderminster College and BMET who complete the programme of study with extra English, maths, digital skills and pastoral care.
For those interested in studying an animal related course from Level 1 upwards, they can contact the Safari Park Education Team on 01299 404888 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.