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Philip Wayre, 26/5/21 - 29/6/14

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Paradoxurus, 27 Jul 2014.

  1. Paradoxurus

    Paradoxurus Well-Known Member

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    Just listened to this week's edition of "last Word" on Radio 4 and was saddened to hear the obituary of Philip Wayre who died on 29th June.

    The Telepgraph provides a good write up of his life. It claims that he opened this country's first wildlife park. Whatever your perception of what a "wildlife park" actually is, it might well be true that his was the first zoo to be called a "wildlife park" and might well have been the first to be dedicated to native species (though of course there were exotic species housed there too):
    Philip Wayre - obituary - Telegraph

    I fondly recall being shown around the Otter Trust at Bungay, with a group, by Wayre back in the early 1990s. Regrettably I never got around to visiting the Norfolk Wildlife park before its demise.
     
  2. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Hello Paradoxurus.

    Like you, I was saddened to learn about Philip Wayre's death. I visited Norfolk Wildlife Park in 1967 and also enjoyed watching 'The Survival Game' and answering some of the questions. It is a shame that someone who did so much for nature died nearly 4 weeks ago with little comment from the media.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    A great shame; I have to admit that I had been under the impression that he had died long ago but he is no less missed for this.

    I rather wish that the collection which he had accumulated at Norfolk Wildlife Park had managed to stay intact rather than slowly declining from the 1980s onwards until it suffered a slow and ignoble end - in many ways it was the forerunner of collections like Wildwood and British Wildlife Centre, but with a rather more choice range of species, some of which are now only really to be found over at Alpenzoo.
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    this is sad news. Philip Wayre was one of my zoo heroes when I was younger.
     
  5. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    Norfolk Wildlife Park was a gem in its heyday. RIP.
     
  6. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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  7. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    Sad news. My only visit to the Norfolk WP was in 1997 when it was way past its best and unfortunately I was unimpressed, although I did like the Barbary "Apes". I wish I had seen the place in its heyday.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I visited the NWP at least twice- once in its heyday, and once later on. But I can also claim to have 'met' Philip Wayre in rather unusual circumstances, about the time his first Otter Trust opened at Earsham. We were driving around Suffolk rather casually looking out for it and stopped for fuel at a tiny petrol station in a sleepy village. I asked the man using the other pump where the place was-we must have been close as I then recognised it was Philip Wayre.

    He just said that it wasn't open yet. I don't think we said anything else except thanks and we drove off. I never did go there after it opened.
     
  9. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I never made it to Great Witchingham, but I enjoyed a couple of visits to the Otter Trust at Bungay. Thirty years ago seeing a European otter, even in captivity, was quite unusual almost everywhere in Europe. The Trust also had a spot-necked otter and Oriental small-clawed (which were not as commonly seen then either).
    The third string to Mr Wayre's bow was the Ornamental Pheasant Trust, which no-one has mentioned yet. He kept a wide range of species, although I don't know if any were ever on view. I value my copy of his book on the pheasants of the world, which shows his wide experience with these birds.

    Alan
     
  10. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Hello Gentle Lemur

    The pheasant collection was in the Norfolk Wildlife Park when I visited in 1967. The pheasants were some of the non-European animals on show. I also remember sun bears. On my visit, I got a packet of cards showing different animals. On the front of the pack was an olingo, which wasn't in the collection. I saw an active olingo at Kilverstone Wildlife Park, which, like the Norfolk Wildlife Park, is now sadly defunct.
     
  11. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Zootierliste lists the following pheasants, some or all of which may have been in the Norfolk Wildlife Park: Cabot's tragopan; Brown-eared pheasant; Edwards's pheasant;
    Elliot's pheasant; Chinese Bamboo-partridge; Greater Bornean crested fireback; Mrs Hume's pheasant; Mikado pheasant; Red-legged partridge; Western tragopan; Swinhoe's pheasant; Temminck's tragopan; Cypriot chukar partridge.
     
  12. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Philip Wayre...

    The Pheasant Trust held the only Western Tragopan in Europe for several years. She laid annually and produced at least one hybrid with, I believe, a male Temminck's.
    Norfolk Wildlife Park was where I first saw Alpine Choughs, Azure-winged Magpies, Beech Martens, and a whole host of other species. A truly inspirational place in its prime.
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Worth noting that the NWP Azure-winged Magpies were in fact Iberian Magpies!
     
  14. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Philip Wayre

    And they bred there, one of many UK first breedings. Same with the Alpine Chiughs. And a lot of other species.
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The problem is, at the time the Iberian and Asian species were only held to be distinct at subspecies level at best, and as a result some interbreeding did take place in the UK through Norfolk-bred birds being sent elsewhere; as such I believe quite a few of the birds around these days, although largely Asian, do have a little Iberian blood in them.
     
  16. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    There was originally one young Malayan Sun Bear called "Pooh" I believe.
    Much later on they had Brown Bears of course.

    The Olingos at Kilverstone were Allen`s Olingos which I think bred there, and were the only ones in the UK at that time.
     
  17. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Philip Wayre...

    Pooh's upbringing is described in detail in Wayre's book 'Wind in the Reeds'. I believe she was bought at Palmer's in Camden Town, and lived to a good age.
     
  18. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    I was fortunate to visit the NWP several times through the 1970's into the early 1980's . I remember the small group of Alpine ibex in their paddock at the far end ; wolverines in an open enclosure which would probably now be considered far too small ; the large open-top Lynx enclosure with its raised viewing platform , very innovative then ; the Iberian wolf in their wooded enclosure . The walk-through aviary held a collection of small passerines which bred well with surplus young being released .

    I have three Guide books dated 1972 , an updated version form 1977 and a larger new one from the 1980's . All give a lot of information and detailed maps . The Pheasant Trust was founded in 1960 and a good number of species were exhibited , though they had gone by the time of the later Guide book . Species listed for the Tropical Pheasant pens - Malay great argus , Siamese fireback , Sonnerat's junglefowl , Palawan peacock pheasant , greater Bornean crested fireback , Bornean great argus , grey peacock pheasant , white-eared pheasant .

    A list of notable breedings is in the later book - wheatear 1965 , stone curlew 1969 , common scops owl 1973 , roe deer 1976 , Cabot's tragopan 1976 , mountain hare 1981 , ringed plover 1982 , Iberian wolf 1983 . There was also a couple of Asian golden cats in the late 1970's .

    Some species mentioned as being in the Park - European suslik , booted eagle , beech marten , a Nocturnal house with genets , porcupines , mongooses , hedgehogs , weasels , small rodents .
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I shall have to root out my Norfolk guide from the 1960's to list any notable taxa - I have a feeling my second NWP guide may be the 1972 one you already discussed.
     
  20. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    Surprisingly there were three Temminck`s Golden Cats at the park in 1977.
    In the 1979 guidebook it states under "Golden Cat" - "Breeds in the park"!!


    Incidentally going back to Kilverstone`s Olingos someone mentioned , they had Allen`s Olingo and Bushy-tailed Olingos, the former produced a UK first breeding in May 1983, and the Bushys produced a UK first breeding in Sept 1982. Kilverstone was the only collection holding both species in the UK at the time.