Enjoying real animals!
The CCF Social Event at Shepreth Zoo,
On Tuesday, Sept 25th the CCF community was invited to Shepreth Zoo for an evening social event organised by Hannah Lintott. Good numbers from CCF showed up from ca 17.00 but despite its billing as a great networking opportunity, we more-or-less scattered on arrival to have close looks at our favourite animals before it got too dark; an opportunity too good to be wasted on chatting! (Although we did actually have some good chats while walking around!) Highlights for us were the bat house where ca 40 Egyptian fruit bats winged their way around our heads while we listened to a talk about them from keeper Dean, the big cats (tiger, lynx, ocelot) and the incredibly cute family of Asian small-clawed otters. It was a good time to be there as we managed to see the diurnal animals (monkeys, wallabies, capybara) just as some of the more nocturnal species like slow loris started to wake up. Sadly for me at least, the red panda slept through it all though!
As it got dark and, supplied with drinks from a make-shift bar, we were treated to a couple of brilliant talks. The first was from keeper Yvonne on primates and featured a photographic journey through examples from the entire primate tree of life (there are more than 450 species) with videos of hilarious behaviour in primates that perfectly explained our fascination with them. This was followed by a talk by keeper Phil, clearly more than slightly obsessed with the creepier side of nature, on the zoo’s invertebrates, their care and the huge importance of conserving them. The whole evening was hugely enjoyable and many thanks are due to the zoo for hosting, to Hannah for organising it, both excellent speakers, and all the other keepers who stayed to chat to us.
David Noble (BTO)