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New collection

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by andrewsion, 19 May 2015.

  1. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    Hi everyone. im new to this site and looking for advice and any help you can offer. I currently run a business in wales which i have added meerkats and raccoons to. this business is an indoor play centre and we have purpose built enclosure built at the rear of the property which is more that ample. our meerkats are a pair who are 6 weeks old and we are looking to bring more to the group. we want a mob of around 5 meerkats. we also have a proven pair of raccoons who are 4 years old. they will both be housed outside and have very nice enclosures built and adapted to suit their needs. (currently in progress). we have come up against our local council as we require a zoo license to display the animals so currently the area is off limits to the public until further notice. we are looking for any advice you can give us about enclosure design. and licensing about zoo etc. hope you can all help us
     
  2. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    Zoo Licensing Act 1981 assuming you've seen that.

    Do you plan to add more animals in the future? If so what species?
     
  3. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    Hi macaw. I have read the zoo act etc and i have done research about animals i wish to keep. as of now we have the meerkats and raccoons as a private collexction and yes we do wish to add more but not exotic really. we are looking to firstly set up the meerkat and raccoons and then move on to add things like a rabbit pen etc. the added ones would be domesticated animals such as a parrot collection and some rabbits and maybe goats etc. nothing out of the usual you woundlnt see on a farm.
     
  4. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    You could think about adding Chipmunks, as they aren't expensive/ hard to obtain and they would be easy to build an enclosure for, also visitors would probably love to watch them climb and leap around. Also, how about Tortoises? Or a waterfowl pond (with various wild and domestic species)? You could even build a small walkthrough aviary with waterfowl, pheasants and a few other small birds in. Coatis would also probably work. How much space do you have? Have you also got any indoor space you could keep a few reptiles in (even just pet shop type species) because guests would enjoy handling them?
     
  5. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    hi macaw. Thanks for your feedback and advice. its hugely appriciated and i will look into the chipmuck side of things as i wanted to add these and now you have said this i think its a great idea. we have some space available to build enclosures. so far our meerkat is 35 ft long by 16 ft wide and 8 ft high. the raccoons are 12 ft widfe x 12ft long and 10 ft heigh. we can easily build another 2 or 3 of that size. we have a lot of space inside but the council dont like us keeping animlas inside as they say its not ventilated like a zoo so keep putting stepping stones in the way. any ideas to this would be great and any advice on the chipmunk housing would be great too
     
  6. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    As they would be kept in tanks, like a lot of people would keep them as pets in, I don't think it would be a problem, but can't be certain.
     
  7. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    thats great. i will look into this and hopefully this would be a great new addition to us. do you have any ideas on the chipmunk housing. cage size. requirements and all that?
     
  8. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

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    What about otters, porcupines or small primates? These would male great additions to a small zoo.:)
     
  9. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    hey banham. Thanks for feedback. i would love to introduce some small primate and other species but unfortunately its very hard to source these animals. I will be posting photo of our current enclosures soon so everyone can see that the ones we have built are very good and suit the animals. if you can help us with the animals you have mentioned or if you know anything that you think would help then that would be great. the way we look at things is if we have a large enough space to house the animal and we research the species enough we would be more than happy to house them. so if anyone knows anyone who needs animals housed then please contact us and we will do our best to accomodate what we can
     
  10. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I can't quite help with that, although it wouldn't be that big, you could keep them in a similar sized aviary to a parrot (providing its a good size for a parrot).
     
  11. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    brilliant. i will be looking into this very soon. im planning on hopefully introducing a few bennet wallabies once i can source some and build an enclosure. i have some space in enclosures now which needs to be filled so hopefully someone will have surplus i can have
     
  12. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    I think they are quite commonly kept as pets, like all the species you've mentioned (and I've mentioned)
     
  13. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    Yes your correct macaw. They are becoming very common pets. That's what I'm trying to aim the collection at. The last thing I want to do is to introduce rare animals which I have no idea about. It's not fair on the animals if we can't care properly for them so I'm trying to build a small zoo based on knowledge and gradually build upon it
     
  14. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    Hello Andrew, firstly welcome to zoochat
    The thing to remember with chipmunks and all rodents -as well as parrots is- to have strong enough mesh, as they can chew through thin mesh, also to make sure all mesh is on the inside of any wooded buildings and inside the uprights too or the inhabitants will chew through and be out before you know it.
    An interesting set up for chipmunks can be achieved with mesh tunnels that go over the top of the enclosure and even along the outside to give more running space. Though bare in mind that you should be able to isolate sections and be able to remove them if something goes wrong. (an inmate drops dead say)
    Walk through aviaries even of only budgies can be interesting if they are the same colour green say and in a flock of over 20.

    Remember also while it is important to protect the public from the animals it is just as important to protect the animals from the public, not every visitor is harmless and benign.
    Just look through the photos on here to get some ideas for enclosures., who knows a new Chester zoo could be in the making!
     
  15. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    Hi dean. Thank you for your reply. That's very helpful. If we were to introduce them then we would use a strong mesh. We are looking at all angles and for different types of animals to introduce. Do you have any contacts or help you could point us towards gettin animals as we would like to source an animal to then build an enclosure that suits it rather than build something that might not be suitable for the animal.
     
  16. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    I would think your best help might come from other small, independent facilities. There are many in the UK and forum members who live there can likely provide a list. The one that comes to my mind is Rare Species Conservation Centre, run by Todd Dalton. When I was over there (on holiday from America) a couple months ago he gave me a private tour. He is one of the nicest guys I have met and has very good relations with government regulators and the like.
     
  17. andrewsion

    andrewsion Member

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    Thanks dean. That's great help. We would use the stringer mesh. We want to creat a small collection which so far is going great
     
  18. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    One thing I would say is do you have experienced keepers? when looking to add primates and other more specialist exotics don't just jump in the deep end and get them.

    Meerkats are hard to introduce, if not done correctly then you will end up with mutilated or even dead meerkats. I would personally stick to the original pair, let them breed to a larger size and then castrate the males.

    In terms of zoo licensing, it is very expensive and requires you advertising the request to open a zoo in local and national media 3 months before hand and then applying for the zoo license itself.
     
  19. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

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    PIf I was in you, I would start by taking to Faunatech in Manchester, they are an animal supplier, and Jim Clubb of amazing animal in Oxfordshire, they are a private zoo and animal training facility.

    Faunatech

    Amazing Animals
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  20. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

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    May also be worth having a solicitor look over the zoo licencing act, especially the exemptions on page 32: