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Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park Combe Martin Wildlife Park Update

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by BramblePatch, 21 Apr 2013.

  1. BramblePatch

    BramblePatch Member

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    Hello everybody!

    I thought it was about time that I post on here with an update on what’s happening at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in North Devon.
    Since February 2012, we have been bought as a new business and are under new management.

    As I’m sure you can all imagine, there have been a lot of improvements, updates and new enclosures being built and I’m hoping to try and tell you all about them:

    One of the first tasks was to remove the old ‘attractions’ area of the park. This included very dated and many broken children’s attractions- such as mini golf, little digger and car rides, disco boats, climbing frames etc (it took up a large area of the upper part of the park next door to the cafe and train ride). After demolishing the entire attraction area and resurfacing, we have now built a pet corner which is named ‘Petsaurus Corner’, which houses crested porcupine (obviously not to be petted ;), pygmy goats, pigs, lambs, ponies, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and a large aviary with birds such as budgies, quakers, lovebirds and quail. It has been a huge hit with the little ones and definitely makes the most of the area! The disco boat area has also been converted in the last couple of months to be a supposed duck pond.

    An area that has desperately needed renovating was our primate area and although there is still a lot of work to be done, much improvement has already been made. Some of you who have visited may remember our black and white ruffed lemur enclosure (it was definitely aged to say the least), so we have refurbished the old red ruffed lemur enclosure- next door to our wallaby field- and moved our group of black and whites up there. The old black and white ruffed lemur enclosure has since been demolished and on the site we have built a 24 foot high enclosure for one of pairs of gibbons. The old gibbon enclosure has been refurbished and our red ruffed lemurs moved in.

    Our other pair of lar gibbons and their little one, are sited in our refurbished, old snow leopard enclosure, with hopes to refurbish the large, grassed enclosure next door to move them across towards the end of 2013.

    Our Tropical House (ex-butterfly house from years ago) has also had another major makeover. In 2011 it was re-launched as our Adventure Amazonia, which housed green iguana, red crested cardinal and a koi pond. Due to changes with animals, we have again refurbished the Tropical House! The pond is now home to common and alligator snapping turtles (the koi are safe and sound in our Japanese gardens, makes sense!) and we have free flying pekin robins, with plans to add more animals to the house at a later date. The front of the Tropical House which had several large tanks that housed reptiles and invertebrates has also been completely demolished and rebuilt – with two large exhibits on either side of the conservatory housing our Nile monitor lizard and green iguana.

    The reptiles that were housed in the Tropical House have been moved up to our brand new Education Centre which is on the site of our brass rubbing room from several years ago- this houses a variety of reptiles including uromastryx, skinks, snakes, tortoises etc, it is also home to our animal handling sessions which we offer twice a day.

    Anybody remember the ‘Light Show’?! Hahaha. We are very pleased to say that after a final year of being used, we have totally scrapped the place and are currently in the process of building ‘Bug World’ which will house over 70 species of invertebrates and looks to be a very exciting new feature to the park!

    Our whole timetable of events has also changed. We offer a range of free encounters and displays including meerkat encounters, ring tailed lemur encounters, animal handling sessions, sea lion and bird of prey displays and talks including lions and gibbons.

    And from a dinosaur perspective... We now have a full time 'dino technician' who is in the process of making some seriously awesome things... watch this space!

    ---------------------------------------------
    A work in progress to say the least, but we are so pleased with the progress and hard work that is going on all over the park. As a keeper at the park myself, I feel very privileged to be a part of the exciting changes and it’s great to see the park finally going in the direction it needs too! It will take a little while to get our reputation back to where it was several years back, but I’m sure with the ongoing improvements it wont take too long :)

    Hope this hasn’t been a complete ramble, but thought some of you may be interested haha!
    -Tara
     
  2. TriDV

    TriDV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that was a really positive overview. congratulations, I hope your hard work and enthusiasm pays off. Good luck and keep us up to date.
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    has anyone been to the park in the last year? I'd be interested in hearing about further developments. The Bug House sounds particularly interesting to me.
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Are the two resident females also White 'Hudson Bay' type wolves or another colour? Also are these Wolves anything to do with the 'Wolfman' (Shaun Ellis) who used to keep his Wolves either here or nearby, but I gather not any more?
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. It says they have European wolves also.
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course, in point of fact they don't actually have Hudson Bay *or* European Wolves, just the common as muck hybrids that are knocking about :p
     
  9. Drago

    Drago Well-Known Member

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    I never been there but plan to one day. According to the site they are white hudson bay wolves. They also mention Shaun Ellis is no longer at the park. He has his own place now, the Wolf centre that is nearby.
    I don't think any of the Wolves thay have now are to do with him?
     
  10. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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  11. leighwigg

    leighwigg Member

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    We do in fact have three true Hudson Bay wolves, the lineage traced through ZIMS.
    The greys however are one Timber and 3 Euro's, These once did belong to Mr Ellis and are too old to move hence they are staying with us to live out their lives.
     
  12. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately ZIMS, much like its predecessor ISIS, does not reflect the fact that all but one animal held in Europe - an aging individual at Zoo Duisburg who was born in Canada - come from a genepool which has a number of domestic founders! Aforesaid hybridisation took place deliberately in order to make bigger and more impressive looking animals.
     
  13. leighwigg

    leighwigg Member

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    Interesting Dave, There is certainly food for thought, I am now on a mission to try to trace further!, Thanks for the heads up :)
     
  14. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    @leighwigg, I applaud your resolve. Can provide some details on European stock when again back home.

    I remain of the conviction we should try to breed subspecies accurately as separate conservation units. In Europe this is probably only true for Scandinavian European wolves, Iberian wolves and the Mongolian wolves.
    Perhaps also Mac Kenzie Valley wolves, but not sure.

    Most if not all Arctic wolves are hybrids between Arctics and Hudson Bays.:(
     
  15. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Realistically is there any genetic difference betweeen Arctic and Hudson Bay wolves?
     
  16. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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  17. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Impure non-subspecific wolves with a decent bit of domestic ancestry - which is what these are, along with all other "Hudson" wolves in Europe bar one or two individuals - have been born in the UK many times :p
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    do the pups turn white when they get older? That is weird.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same. I guess as the adult coat is just white, and not albino, then the puppy coat is still greyish like Grey wolves, and turns white with age. A bit like cygnets and adult swans.
     
  20. MagpieGoose

    MagpieGoose Well-Known Member

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    A Lar Gibbon has been born. Also, Combe Martin are now listed as holding a male Western Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur on Zootierliste.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2017