This week’s post is an ode to Shepreth Wildlife Park who treated us like absolute kings last Friday!
As you may be aware, back in February we received an email from Alice, one of the keepers at the Park, reaching out to various companies asking for any help available replacing their very old pontoon that gets them over to Lemur Island for feeding, cleaning etc. Our Director Oliver saw the email and without a second thought put a 3m x 2m Rotodock with PE handrails on order for our next shipment. We couldn’t let the lemurs go hungry could we?! In April the pontoon was taken up to Shepreth and installed by the park team and last week we accepted their generous offer of a day out to see the pontoon in place.
Well, I cannot recommend them highly enough! Alice greeted us with the biggest smile and throughout the day told us everything we could want to know about each of the animals as we floated around the Park with her. We began by visiting the pontoon and tying our banner onto it. As lemurs can get Covid, we didn’t go onto the island, but had our photos taken on the pontoon and admired them from afar! We were thrilled when shortly after, Alice gave us grapes to feed the coatis, and bamboo to feed the alpacas, but absolutely struck dumb when we were invited into the red panda enclosure to share the panda’s birthday celebrations and feed her banana slices, grapes and a special bread. In return, we shared high fives, nose taps and handshakes with her, while her partner hid in the trees above. Incredible! As we wandered we met the marmosets, owls, tigers, otters (more feeding from the fence line), maned wolves, meerkats, black and white ruffed lemurs (the second loudest primate, we were even given an impromptu example of their vocal ability!), armadillos, cusimanses, macaws, caimen, wallabys…oh the list goes on! After lunch we were treated to more face to face feeding with the capybara family (so very zen until a twitch!) and the gorgeous aardvarks with their ‘marshmallow noses’, who we fed with live mealworms and crickets – some of us took to handling the food better than others! Last, but not least we took some lettuce to the giant tortoise Solomon before he was taken in for the night.
It was so wonderful meeting all the animals, but even more so meeting the staff (and founder Terry) who could not express their gratitude enough at Oliver’s generosity giving them the pontoon. We really felt we had helped a zoo in need, and after we were allowed to continue through more of the lockdowns than others due to being in construction, it was the very least we could do to help others. Every member of staff knew who we were and what WMS had donated. It was incredibly humbling to receive such kind words from everyone.
On that note, I wish you a wonderful weekend and if you’re struggling for things to do now or throughout the year, I urge you to book a visit to Shepreth Wildlife Park near Cambridge!