Tag Archives: Children’s Days Out

New Zoo Babies!

20 Sep

Two capybara babies have been born at Drusillas Park. This is the first time the species has been bred at the zoo and staff are delighted with the new arrivals.

Capybara are the largest rodents in the world. In the wild they are only found in South America, where they live in groups near water.

Drusillas Park holds the UK Register for capybara. This means that Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate assists with co-ordinating the movement of the species for the purpose of breeding. She also offers advice to other zoos on how these animals should be kept.

The latest arrivals were born at Drusillas on Tuesday 23rd August and are thriving under the guidance of proud parents, Hector and Tullula.

The cappy-couple were introduced at Drusillas in 2010 as part of the breeding programme; Tullula came from Marwell Wildlife in November 2005 followed by Hector from Reaseheath College last October.

Capybara live in pairs, family groups or in larger mixed herds.  They can have up to eight young at a time.

The delightful new duo have been exploring their environment and are already eating vegetables and browse, although they are still being nursed by their mother. The babies were born covered in fur and could run, swim and dive within hours of birth however, this is not without its dangers!

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “I was passing the capybara enclosure recently when I noticed that one of the babies was trapped in the pond and unable to get out. However, Hector quickly came to the rescue, swimming over to the edge of the water and bridging the gap so the baby could climb up him onto land – it was very sweet to watch.”

Things to do with the Kids this Summer

12 Jul

This summer get ready to soak up the fun at Drusillas; the South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year. It’s the perfect place to occupy your little monkeys during the school holidays, with over 100 different animal species, a large adventure play area, a Thomas & Friends™ train ride and a diary jammed-packed with events.

Test out your skills against the extraordinary talents of the animal kingdom at the Zoolympics Challenge Day on Tuesday 26th July or visit on Wednesday 27th July and meet Ben & Holly from the Little Kingdom. 

August heralds the start of Peppa Pig month at Drusillas when this cheeky favourite will be making appearances on eight different dates! Join in the excitement and snorts of laughter as the lovable Peppa embarks on another adventure with her brother George on 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th August. The Fat Controller himself will also be causing a locomotion when he alights at the Park to oversee the running of the Thomas & Friends™ railway on 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd August.

Plus there’s all the usual animal magic. Drusillas offers an opportunity to get nose to nose with nature with hundreds of exotic animals from monkeys and crocodiles to penguins and meerkats.

The large themed paddling pool, Explorer’s Lagoon is the perfect place to relax on warm and sunny days and Go Wild! Go Bananas! and Amazon Adventure are paradise for anyone who needs to let off steam. Don’t miss close encounters in Lemurland or the brand new walk-through parrot aviary – Lory Landing.

Top Quality Attraction

8 Jul

Drusillas Park has undergone its tenth annual VAQAS inspection, comfortably retaining the accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction. Based on industry benchmarks, the assessor commented on Drusillas year on year improvement and high standards of quality and customer care,  stating: “This award winning attraction (Tourism South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year 2010/11) certainly deserves every accolade that it has received.”

VAQAS stands for Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme; it is a consumer focused assessment service which operates nationally for all types of attractions to assess the visitor experience provided.

Making an unannounced visit, an assessor carries out an annual review which can be made at anytime the attraction is open to the public. Each visit is followed by an assessment report and if successful, the accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction is bestowed together with the associated kudos.

Visiting on Tuesday 31st May, an assessor anonymously reviewed all aspects of Drusillas including the website, telephone system, signage, marketing literature, car park, buildings, layout, facilities and attractions, as well as staff and customer service.

The subsequent report concluded: “Drusillas Park offered the visitor an overall excellent quality experience once again and with the new walk-through aviary adding to the already excellent range of content found within the Park which ensures a fun, educational and exciting experience is had by visitors of all ages.”

The Assessor added: “Drusillas Park once again fully merits the award of Visit England’s accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.”

Managing Director, Laurence Smith responded: “We are delighted with the outcome and are especially pleased with the comments made about our brand new close encounters exhibit, Lory Landing.”

“The assessor visited us on a relatively busy day during the half term school holidays and the feedback we received was excellent, praising standards of presentation, cleanliness and the professionalism and friendliness of our staff. This glowing report, in addition to our success at the South East Tourism Awards is really outstanding and a true testament to quality of our attraction.”

Murray Inspired Meal Served to Meerkats

1 Jul

A feast of tasty treats were served up to the meerkats at Drusillas Park today in honour of British tennis star, Andrew Murray. The unusual delivery proved a smash with the whole set, who polished the meal off in minutes before making a racket for more. 

The meerkats took full advantage of their lunch-time munch, dished up in customised tennis balls stuffed with mealworms. The group rallied around the prized platters taking the new balls near break point, as they utilised their strong forehands to dig out the dinner.

This strange service was made as part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which ensures a diverse diet is enjoyed in imaginative and unusual ways. Enrichment is carried out within all the enclosures on a daily basis to encourage the animals to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild, as well as providing mental stimulation.

Plus it’s love all elsewhere in the zoo, with courting of another variety. Drusillas Park is currently celebrating the arrival of two fennec fox babies born on 15th May.  The pups are now starting to play outside the nest box and are already proving a popular doubles partnership with zoo spectators.