Keepers Diary - June 2008
This month has been very busy with enclosure refurbishment. In the last two weeks alone, we have and rebuilt homes for four species of monkey, two species of rat, the otters and also the tamanduas, which are tree anteaters.
This is very tough work, ripping down the old branch work, digging out the old substrate and then redesigning and building the new lot.
However, the reward is always worth it in the end, when you get to see the animals’ excitement when they are introduced to their new home. New smells, sights, things to play with, and even stuff to eat for those species that like to rip open rotten logs like the tamanduas.
It was extremely funny watching the otters investigating their new den. There are eleven in the group and they were all going crazy, scent marking and smelling the new branch work. The youngsters in the group were doing ‘chin ups’ on the horizontal branches. Very impressive!
Also, this month two new male meerkats have arrived to form two separate breeding groups with our three females. One group is to move to our new exhibit in Whipsnade which is opening very soon.
The other group will hopefully provide us here at London with some meerkat babies soon, which are very cute! Two of our three females are aged 3 and the other is two.
Meerkats live to early teens and so all three are at a perfect age to breed and now we just have to hope romance blossoms. Fingers crossed!