Friday, 21 December 2012
Our Turkey’s at the Park are for life ~ not just for Christmas!!
I was looking at our three Turkeys today…. strutting around the Wallaby Paddock, chattering away to one another and thought if only they knew how lucky they are! Lots and lots of space, a nice shed bedded down with straw and food on tap! One of them has been a little ‘ fiesty’ lately chasing and biting the Keepers when we let them out in the mornings – we all laugh that they have a good spirit and look so funny running after us !
Some Turkey Facts:
Did you know the UK consumes around 10 million turkeys at Christmas.
Turkey's scientific name is Meleagris gallopava (mel-e-AY-gris-low-PAY-voe) from Latin gallus, meaning cock, and pavo, meaning chickenlike. Meleagris is the Roman name for guineafowl, suggestive of the early confusion of the turkey with guineafowl.
It is by no means clear how the turkey gained its name - one colourful theory claims a certain resemblance between the turkey stag's head and the helmet of a soldier of the Turkish Empire.
Another suggestion is from the wild turkey's call which sounds like turk-turk-turk. Another likely explanation is that in the 16th century, merchants trading along the seaboards of the Mediterranean were known as Turkes. They probably included the birds in their merchandise and they became known as turkey fowls.
One theory is that Columbus thought the new world was connected to India and that turkeys were really peacocks, so he named them "Tuka" which is peacock in the Tamil language of India.
In Spain, the turkey was often referred to as Indian fowl, an allusion which is repeated in the French ‘dindon’ formed with d'Inde which means ‘from India’.
Turkeys have been around for 10 million years - there are fossils to prove it.
The American Indians hunted wild turkey for its sweet, juicy meat as early as 1000AD. Turkey feathers were used to stabilise arrows and adorn ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as projectiles on arrowheads.
Turkeys are believed to have first been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland - he acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol.
Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas.
Enjoy your Turkeys this Christmas – Our three just don’t know how lucky they really are !!!!
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen to join the dynamic Animal Care Team at the Island’s largest, multi-award winning Wildlife Attraction. This is a seasonal position from January to the end of October, 2013.
The position involves all animal husbandry duties and giving daily talks to the public. The successful incumbent will be an exceptional ‘ people-person’ who has the ability to lead promotional events such as ‘ Keeper for a day ‘ , ‘ Junior Wildlife Experience ‘ , ‘ One-On-One Wildlife Encounters’ and ‘ Wildest Place for a Special Date ‘ .
A mature, friendly, outgoing person is required with a very hands-on approach. Applicants should be well spoken, team-orientated and physically fit, able to roll up their sleeves and willing to get involved!
This is a demanding, outdoor role, five days a week including weekends and bank holidays. Previous hands-on animal care experience and a relevant qualification is preferred.
Hours when Park is closed 9am – 2.00/2.30pm Hours when Park is open 8.30am – 4.30pm
Applicants should live locally with own transport arrangements as accommodation is not provided.
Closing date Friday 21st December, 2012. Please send current up to date CV and covering letter to Lorraine Adams, Director either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Oakhill Road, Seaview, Isle Of Wight. PO34 5AP.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Yesterday Matt from Specialist Wildlife Services came to the Park with his friend and volunteer Debra to collect four male wallabies from our productive Mob. We have a very successful breeding programme each year with these marsupials and over crowding in Wallaby Walkabout and in-breeding are the reasons behind the decision to move some of the surplus males on to new homes.
Many thanks to Matt who has a very interesting Job travelling around the UK and to Europe to rescue all sorts of creatures from Annie the Elephant to bears, wolves down to tiny hedgehogs! Our ‘boys’ have arrived safely at the Berkshire Agriculture College that is a Vet training college and hosts an animal management course. Our Wallabies are going to be seriously loved, pampered and very well looked after!
Our Chilean Flamingo Chick is doing so so well – you may remember some blogs back that we told you about our little orphaned Chilean Chick. He is doing really well – feeding by himself and is very vocal and responsive. We have all grown rather fond of him ( or her we are not sure yet!) His legs have become dry and Matt suggested yesterday that we stand him in water for a while each day. In the wild they would be in water for many hours dabbling and searching for food so the next best thing the Keepers could think of was standing the little flamingo in a bucket of warm water! He didn’t seem to mind one bit and just stood very still and quiet.