conservation

New partnership to help  Bay’s underwater rainforest

New partnership to help Bay’s underwater rainforest

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 01/31/2020 - 10:28am

Two local names with international reputations are joining forces to help a very special - but largely unknown - species. Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium, is linking up with Valeport, the Totnes-based underwater measuring instrumentation specialists.

The focus of their partnership is seagrass, a remarkable plant that flowers underwater and forms dense meadows in shallow coastal areas. These meadows capture carbon at a greater rate than tropical forests, making them important in combating climate change. Like coral reefs and rainforests, these underwater gardens...

The Great Big Brick clear-out

The Great Big Brick clear-out

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 01/24/2020 - 10:07am

If you're having trouble making room for all your kids' new toys after Christmas, then Paignton Zoo can help.

The Devon zoo is hosting the Great Big Brick Safari from 28th March to 1st September. And before that it’s holding a great big brick amnesty, when people can donate unwanted plastic building bricks.

Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “We’ll take all those old plastic building bricks off your hands. Not to make the Great Big Brick Safari models – these are created by professional BRICKLIVE artists and contain a million bricks. We want them so that guests inspired...

Trust's 2020 vision

Trust's 2020 vision

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Mon, 01/13/2020 - 12:43pm

Wild Planet Trust is the Devon-based charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall, plus several nature reserves in Devon. While 2019 was not a great year for the charity, there are, says Trust boss Simon Tonge, some reasons for optimism:

“Last year was not the best for visitor numbers, though we still saw 700,000 people come to our three zoo sites. And it was the end of an era – Duchess, the last elephant in the South West of England, died.

“On the plus side, 2019 saw the lifting of TB restrictions at Paignton Zoo. Although it has...

All creatures great and very, very small

All creatures great and very, very small

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 01/10/2020 - 12:39pm

This is an Nguru spiny pygmy chameleon. It’s just a few centimetres long. What could it possibly have in common with a black rhino? The answer is – Wild Planet Trust. The charity behind Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo carries out conservation work in Tanzania, home to both species.

This minute chameleon - a species new to Paignton Zoo and sadly not yet on show to guests – needs all the help it can get. It’s Critically Endangered, largely due to the ravenous demands of the international pet trade.

The chameleon is well named – it comes from the Nguru Mountains of...

Zoo says good bye to Lucifer

Zoo says good bye to Lucifer

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Thu, 01/09/2020 - 12:33pm

Paignton Zoo is sad to announce that senior male lion Lucifer has had to be put to sleep.

Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling: “Lucifer was 17 years old, so he was a good age for an Asiatic lion. He was, like a lot of us, showing signs of wear and tear on his body. He had some weakness and ataxia – that’s wobbliness in his hind limbs – he would stagger occasionally, especially when going up and down steps, and often stumble.”

Senior mammal keeper Helen Neighbour worked closely with Lucifer: “He was a lovely male lion – in that he was grumpy and bad tempered, but not too much. He...

Christmas dinners with a difference…

Christmas dinners with a difference…

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Tue, 12/24/2019 - 8:03am

Animals at Paignton Zoo will be getting their own festive dinners this Christmas – but you may not find them quite as appetising as your own…

So what’s on the menu? Well, the big cats could get a whole turkey, complete with feathers and entrails. Curator of Mammals Lisa Britton said: “It’s all good roughage, the bones, everything. It’s the sort of carcass they’d be eating in the wild.”

Ferocious carnivores tearing into meat may or may not remind you of your own Christmas lunch.

Meanwhile, Alfie Junior the Southern cassowary has a Christmas dinner, too – including...

How to train your…

How to train your…

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 12/13/2019 - 11:41am

If animal training makes you think of tricks and shows, think again. Top zoos use training to improve animal welfare, reduce the need for risky general anaesthetics and to keep both animals and people safe.

For example, bird keeper Sam Gray has trained Alfie Junior the Southern cassowary – as tall as a person and part bird, part dinosaur – to follow a target, which means she can get him in his house easily and safely. For reptile keeper Tom Wilkinson, training Pierre the mangrove monitor lizard to walk calmly into his crate means you don’t need to catch him up – a procedure that...

Tree planting initiatives take root

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Fri, 12/06/2019 - 2:59pm

The County Council has teamed up with the Woodland Trust and the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum to encourage communities and landowners to plant more trees.

Ten trees were planted in the grounds of County Hall last week by pupils from St Leonard’s Primary School and members of the Devon Youth Parliament as the Council marked National Tree Week and joined the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback.

It was also an opportunity to launch the new schemes. Devon County Council, in association with the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity the Woodland Trust, is offering...

Trees in Trust

Trees in Trust

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:15am

National Tree Week - from 23rd November to 1st December – is the UK's largest annual tree celebration, and marks the start of the winter tree planting season. One locally-based conservation charity is using the occasion to shine a spotlight on some of the many trees in its care.

Wild Planet Trust is the conservation charity behind Paignton Zoo. The zoo is more famous for animals than trees, although it is pleasantly-wooded. Often overlooked are the Clennon local nature reserve adjoining the zoo and the Primley public open space across the road, both managed by the Trust.

...

Festive food fun with Santa

Festive food fun with Santa

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Mon, 12/02/2019 - 10:41am

They say you shouldn’t play with your food – but at Living Coasts this Christmas, that’s exactly what kids are being encouraged to do.

The coastal zoo’s Breakfast with Santa event features food, presents – and penguins.

Living Coasts spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “Children get a pancake to decorate. They can choose from things like banana, strawberries, chocolate drops, cream and syrup – they can draw a snowman or a penguin or Santa Claus himself – or they can just pile it all on and eat it!”

Santa will personally give every child a present, and then – as this is...

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