Day 4 began in the classroom again, learning about the carnivores on the park, there is the critically endangered amur leapords, the amur tigers, the african lions, painted dogs, polar bears and not forgetting the incredibly cute meerkats. Yorkshire wildlife park is very lucky to have 4 amur leapord in the park, due to there only being 35 left in the wild.
we took a behind the scenes tour of the leapord and tiger house and got to see their menu for the day. They go through so much meat!!
we returned back to the classrooms and the leaders taught us all about the conservation they do on site. Yorkshire wildlife park is a part of many conservation charitys like the painted dog charity, the polar protection, wild welfare amd many more.
After lunch, we took a trek to the lion enclosure. Where the rangers took us into the very smelly meat container. There was loads of carcuses and horse heads hanging. Urghh! I was suprised to find that that would only last them a week. Laura the lion keeper took us to see the lions. we fed them small pieces of red meat with tongs if they responded to hand signals. We went into the lions indoor pens and got started cleaning. First we removed all the wet sawdust and dirty straw. Next we scrubbed the water bowl and floors then finally put clean bedding and swept up.
libby ramsden x
Day 3 began earlier than normal, at 8:30, in order to have time to complete more practical than normal. We began in the Baboon enclosure bright and early and fed them the food we had prepared to day before, whilst they were enjoying their breakfast, we got busy cleaning the outside pen. There was poo picking, window cleaning, fence checking and raking to do. Once that was completed and we were sure the doors were locked, the baboons were released outside, with Romulus the dominant leading. We got started cleaning inside, there was a full clean to do. Firstly removing all the straw and sawdust and remaining food. We scrubbed the walls and climbing shelves with brushes and sprayed it with the hosepipe. Then left it to dry before returning later to fill with straw again.
We returned to the classroom and we learnt all about hoofstock. At yorkshire wildlife park there is lots of hoofstock including Camels, Giraffes, Lechwe, Addax and more.
In the afternoon, we got busy picking nettles from the field, 5 bin bags full! After a lot of hardwork carrying the bags the whole length of the park to the Giraffe enclosure. We filled mesh balls with the nettles and hung them up for the Giraffes to enjoy. But then it came to the dirty work. We got stuck in picking up all the poo and sweeping the sandy substrate then filling it back up with straw again.
Libby ramsden x
Day 2 in the young ranger academy at yorkshire wildlife park, was another packed day full of knowledge and fun practical. The day started off with the theory side of things, learning about enrichment and enclosure design and how yorkshire wildlife parks enclosures are specially adapted, for example the the Baboon enclosure has a half pipe around the top of the fence to ensure they cannot climb over. We designed a giraffe enclouse with all the different aspects needed.
After lunch, we prepared the morning feed for then Marmosets and Baboons. The marmosets food needed to be chopped up into smaller pieces for them to consume, they also require a jelly or gum that is similar to the sap in the trees that they would find in the wild. The jelly or gum smells like the foam bananna sweets , love it.The Baboons eat a lot more vegetable and leafy greens because they require more protein from the leaves, they also eat old world monkey pellets.
To give enrichment, we made parcels from rice paper full of seeds and pellets, we threw them in the baboon enclosure and observed them rip them open and carefully pick the seeds out. They are very intelectual animals. We also carved pumpkins and filled them with mealworms and put them in the meerkat enclosure, they were so inquisitive and got in the pumpkin straight away. The day ended and we were ready for an even earlier start the next morning.
Libby Ramsden x
My first day at yorkshire wildlife parks very own young ranger academy was interesting, exciting, tiring and overall a very good day.
When arriving into the group of around 10, I got to know everyones name and a bit about them all, it turns out a few were my age and also keen on veterinary, so it seems i was in the right place to getting another step closer to my dream. The rangers took us to out classroom for the week, where we were approached with t-shirts and a portfolio for the week full of worksheets and photos. We began the day, learning about the history of zoos and how horrific they were centurys ago Compared to the great lives animals in captivity today lead. As it was reptile day we spent the afternoon with the reptiles, as I own a tortoise myself I already knew a lot about the condidtions needed for reptiles in captivity. We held all the reptiles and took reading of the temperature and humidity in their vivariums. My favourite reptile was spike the egyptian spiny-tailed lizard, even though his tail was deformed from the previous owners that the park had rescued him from. After a tour of the whole park, I headed home ready for another full day.
libby ramsden x
Yorkshire wildlife park is a fabulous place, that gives animals a safe and natural place to live and provides so many young people with a start to a career in the animal world.
I applied and sucessfully achieved a place on the young ranger academy, a week long course that gives 15-17 year olds an insight into a career with animals. There is theory work in classrooms, which teaches about history of zoos, enrichment, eclosure design and much more. However along with all that there is the practical side, which allows you to get upclose and personal with all the exotic animals available including the rare amur leapords and Nissan then new Polar bear!
Not only is it great fun and helps you meet new people, the course teaches you so much about all the different exotic inhabitants there are at the park and helps you build up all the vital work experience needed to start a career and a very beneficial point to add to any CV or personal statement.
I highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in a career with animals, or veterinary like me.
Libby Ramsden x
It seems that cats do not see there owners in the same way that dogs do. Research at the university of Lincoln shows that dogs perceive their owners as a safe base unlike the relationship between people and our feline friends.
It is well known that cats are more social however recent research teaches us that cats are not necessarily dependant in others for protection. Professor Mills at Lincoln university says “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe, with many seeing a cat as an ideal pet for owners who work long hours. Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are in fact much more independent than canine companions. It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.”
The investigation put a number of cats and their owners and a stranger in a unfamiliar environment. When assesed there were three characteristics of attatchment to the people. Which included the attention that the cat gave, the level of passive behavior and when the owner left, the amount of distress it caused the cat.
The outcome of the investigation was that the cats did not show evidence that the relationship between the owner and cat is of secure attatchment. The cats that their owners said they had a close attatchment with, did not react any different to the cats that supposedly did not have a close attatchment.
On the other hand, dogs consider their owners as a safe haven, and rely on them for protection and this does not apply to cats.
Overall the study shows that cats do prefer to interact but they do not rely on the owner for protection.
I think that cats dont require protection from owners is because of the nature of the species and how they hunt solo in the wild, not relying on anyone.
Thanks for reading guys!
Libby Ramsden x
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