Staff at Shaldon Wildlife Trust are excited to be seeing Harley, the Margay kitten exploring his outside enclosure. Harley has been snuggled up in his heated den area with mum Josefien for the past few months as he would be in the wild.
Margay are also known as the Tree Ocelot; they have flexible ankles allowing them to run head first down trees. One of only 3 species known to do this! Harley is having great fun learning all the tricks of becoming an independent cat!
In the wild Margay have a very varied diet including small mammals, birds, primates, eggs and frogs! Amazingly, these cats have been observed mimicking the distress calls of baby monkeys in order to lure the worried parents into a trap.
Dad George is spending some time away from the family at another collection as part of the managed breeding programme that Shaldon is a member. He has travelled to a zoo in Kent to breed with no less than two females before he returns to Shaldon after Harley has reached maturity and moved on himself.
Other exciting news at is that some enclosure refurbishment is taking place in the middle of the zoo. This has meant having to say farewell to the Scarlet Macaws who have moved to other collections, but staff are pleased to report that they have all settled in very well in their new aviaries.
The zoo is open every day from 10am-4pm. If you visit over the half term holiday you might be able to spy Harley and watch him out and about, but be warned ... Josefien is very protective and will sometimes carry him back to the nest by the scruff of his neck!
Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a small not-for-profit charity in South Devon, with all money made going directly back into the zoo and its conservation projects.
For more information on how you can help theTrust’s vital work visit www.shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk