Three new animal experts have boosted the team at Paignton Zoo this summer.
Dr Kirsten Pullen, the new Director of Conservation and Education, started in June. Curator of Mammals Lisa Britton took up her post in July. And Jay Redbond, Assistant Curator, Lower Vertebrates & Invertebrates, arrived in August. Together they bring nearly 60 years of professional experience to the charity.
Kirsten is a noted gorilla expert and a familiar face, having gained her doctorate at Paignton Zoo. She’s spent the last six years in charge of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and...
Money spent by guests having a great day out in South Devon is directly helping to protect some of Southern Africa’s most iconic animals.
Wild Planet Trust is the charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall. It helps fund conservation on the ground in one of the hardest countries in the world to work in - Zimbabwe.
The Matobo Hills area, in South West Zimbabwe, is a unique landscape, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003 and incorporating Zimbabwe’s oldest National Park. The Matobo Hills are known for balancing rock...
Naomi the grey gibbon, one of the oldest residents of Paignton Zoo, has died.
Animal staff and in-house vets took the difficult decision to put her to sleep after she became seriously ill. Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling: “She went downhill quickly. Clinical signs suggested she might have had a urinary tract problem, which can lead to complications such as kidney failure in older animals. With an animal of that age, you have to be realistic about their quality of life, their ability to recover and their resilience.
“Animal staff spent days patiently trying to tempt her with...
One of the most striking birds in the world has bred at Paignton Zoo. The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is famous for its bright red feathers – although, as you can see, the chicks are anything but scarlet.
There’s no other wading bird as scarlet as a scarlet ibis, but it takes time for juveniles to grow into the colour. It’s not until their second moult that the birds begin to take on that extraordinary rosy sheen. It can take two years or more for the dazzling change to be completed; the colour comes from the red crustaceans in their diet.
Zoo keepers at Living Coasts in Torquay are naming and shaming their naughtiest penguins. They’re writing the names of mischievous birds on a chalkboard for guests to see - and singling out others for their good behaviour.
The 63 African penguins and 12 macaroni penguins at Torquay’s coastal zoo mix freely with guests. But some penguins are better-behaved than others.
Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling: “We’ve put up a board on which we write the names of the best and worst-behaved penguins, and what they’ve done. This gives guests a real insight into exactly what penguins get...
The charity zoo has its very own branded blend – Zoorabica. It’s the first time the charity has offered its own named coffee. The new beverage is supplied by Coffeeworks, based in Exeter, an independent company with over 20 years’ experience.
Paignton Zoo Group Catering Manager Jennifer Proctor, who helped choose the final blend, said: “We have gone for this new blend because of taste, price, the support that Coffeeworks offer and the training they provide.” She visited the family-owned roasting business in Bristol to select the coffee.
The matriarch of Paignton Zoo died at the age of 49. Born in 1970, she came to Paignton Zoo in 1977 and for many years lived with female Asian elephant Gay. Duchess collapsed in her enclosure on Sunday 14th July and had to be put to sleep.
Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “The enormous, immediate and heartfelt public response prompted us to think about how we should remember her. Duchess was here for over 40 years; she was the matriarch of Paignton Zoo.
“We’ve decided to commission a memorial artwork. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people encountered Duchess...
It’s an expensive time of year for birthday presents among the kittiwakes at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo. The five adult birds all have birthdays between July 17th and August 7th. And now a chick has hatched on its mother’s birthday.
The kittiwake also hatched in the same nest and to the same parents as last year, when Living Coasts recorded its first ever breeding of this species. The kittiwake is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Senior Keeper Jason Keller has been keeping a close eye on things: “The chick seems...
Living Coasts has announced a new conservation project linking Torquay with a group of islands half a world away.
Torquay’s coastal zoo’s latest project is based on the Falkland Islands – an archipelago of over 750 islands, home to roughly 3,000 people, 500,000 sheep - and one million penguins. Yes, this is a UK territory with penguins.
The islands are home to some of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet, sensitive to change and to the introduction of native species. In the Falklands, historic human activities such as livestock grazing, burning (to drive out sea...
A Devon educator has become the first accredited UN climate change teacher in a UK zoo.
Steve Nash, Head of Education for Wild Planet Trust, the charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall, has become a UN Accredited Climate Change teacher.
“The modules are based on the most recent evidence regarding climate change science and its impacts on everyday life around the world. It is now widely acknowledged that we are facing a climate emergency – and a changing climate poses challenges for wildlife, for wild places, and for us as a...