Hand-reared dwarf mongoose at Whipsnade
Sunday 20 August 2000
PHOTOCALL... PHOTOCALL... PHOTOCALL...
DATE: Wednesday, 23 August
PLACE: Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Bedfordshire
(Meet at the Estate Office)
CONTACT: Simon Hodge: 01582 872171
BIRTH OF DWARF MONGOOSE MARKS HISTORICAL BREAKTHROUGH AT WHIPSNADE WILD ANIMAL PARK
The recent birth (14 July) of a dwarf mongoose at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, marks an important breakthrough for the animal keepers. The mongoose has been hand-reared since its birth six weeks ago after being rejected by its parents. This is a first for Whipsnade.
Measuring just seven inches and weighing in at 120gm the, as yet un-named, female baby began her first few days at Whipsnade in an incubator.
Says keeper Trevor Moxey: "We have begun to hand-rear some of the baby dwarf mongooses in an effort to increase their long-term survival rates. Our newborn female has just begun to lap up milk and will slowly be weaned on to solids in the form of small pieces of chicken. We are delighted with her progress and look forward to the public being able to see her in the enclosure."
Mongoose are social creatures, and at Whipsnade they live in an indoor enclosure in the Discovery Centre. A large proportion of their time is spent scanning from vantage points such as mounds so their keepers have created an artificial termite mound for them to use as a lookout post replicating their natural surroundings.
Dwarf mongoose facts:
*Scientific name: Helogale parvula
- Fully grown adults can grow up to 28cm in length, the tail measuring 19cm, and can stand up to 8cm tall; adults can weigh between 200-400 gms
- Mongoose live for at least ten years
- In the wild, Southern dwarf mongoose can be found in the southern areas of Africa, including Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zaire
- Breeding, feeding, sleeping, creeping, moving, staying, fighting, playing - Zoo is an intimate portrait of animals and keepers behind the scenes at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. Zoo is on BBC1 from 7.30pm every Wednesday
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