Friday, 23 August 2019

Warty Pigs And Rock Hyraxes

Sometimes, when Mick works from home, he's able to take a bit of time off during the day if he starts early and finishes late. Wednesday was one such day. As it was a nice day we decided we'd head off to Lotherton for an hour around lunchtime. Archie's been suffering from a limp for the last few weeks so the vet advised short walks on a lead. He's much better now but we're still not allowing him to go galloping around just yet, so unfortunately, Archie was on enforced rest at home. It did give us the opportunity to visit Wildlife World though, something we don't get to do when we have Archie with us.


The first animals you encounter as you enter Wildlife World are the Visayan warty pigs. This animal is endemic to two of the Visayan Islands in the Phillippines and is a critically endangered species, threatened by habitat loss, food shortages and hunting. Little is known of their behaviors or characteristics outside captivity due to the small numbers of Visayan warty pigs left living in the wild.


I think a favourite of many visitors are the Humboldt penguins. Named after the explorer Alexander von Humboldt, their natural habitat is most of coastal Chile and Peru.


They're such cute little things, they actually come up to the viewing windows to look out at the visitors.


The penguins have been at Lotherton for about two years now and seem to have settled very well into their new home.


There's been a bird garden at Lotherton since 1980 when there was just a small collection of waterfowl, poulty and ducks. Today there are more than 130 different species. This is a Coscoroba swan, a species of waterfowl from southern South America. It is the smallest of the birds called swans, but still a large species of waterfowl. Coscoroba swans live to an age of approximately twenty years.


Work at Wildlife World is ongoing with new animals being introduced on a regular basis. A group of rare Chacoan maras arrived last year, a South American relative of  the guinea pig and one of the world's largest rodents. They will be taking part in an international breeding programme to help protect the animals for future generations.


A new arrival this year is a group of rock hyraxes, a medium-sized mammal native to Africa and the Middle East. They're distantly related to elephants and manatees.

I'm glad we visited at midday as it started raining during the afternoon. I don't know what's happened to summer this year. We're forecast a nice weekend though, the sun has arrived this morning so I hope it's here to stay.

32 comments:

  1. What a lovely treat to slip away for a little break in the day. I haven´t heard of some of the animals you photographed, fingers crossed the breeding programmes are successful, it would be awful to lose them. Enjoy your long weekend, hope the weather holds for you xcx

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    1. It's lovely to have a little time to ourselves midweek, especially during the summer months when our weekends get eaten into with Mick playing cricket. Just an hour out somewhere is a treat. Such a lot of good work is done these days with various breeding programmes, they seem to be very successful in increasing numbers when species are in danger.

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  2. We are in another dry period along the South Coast, I am keep g an eye on my water butt's, if I believe the forecaste it goi g to be dry for at least the next 2 weeks.

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    1. We've had quite a bit of rain here, though we've got a dry period forecast now, which I'm pleased about. Autumn seems to be arriving in record time this year so I'm pleased that summer isn't yet done.

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  3. What a lovely day out. The last time I went to a zoo or wildlife park was when we took the residents to Blackpool Zoo. It was a sweltering day and the residents enjoyed it, but us poor staff were absolutely shattered!! I love to see animals being cared for, especially those in danger of extinction. Man is making such a mess of the earth with deforestation, farming and building and care nothing for the wildlife that gets in their way. Best, Jane x

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    1. It's a little over twenty years since I've been to Blackpool Zoo, I remember we had Daniel in a pushchair at the time. I have mixed feelings about zoos, I don't particularly like to see animals in captivity but such a lot of good work is done with breeding programmes, especially for those animals facing extinction, so I do think zoos have their place.

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  4. What an interesting collection of unusual animals. I haven't come across any of these before, thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. There's so many animals that we would never come across, or even hear about, if it wasn't for zoos or wildlife parks. There's such an interesting collection now at Lotherton.

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  5. A most enjoyable post and pictures about some interesting, and unusual, animals. It's certainly been a variable summer weather-wise. Enjoy your weekend. xx

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    1. I like the fact that Lotherton have some animals which I haven't seen anywhere before, in fact, I haven't even heard of them before. It's always interesting to visit. The weather has definitely been variable this year, I'm hoping that we have some late summer sun now before autumn well and truly sets in.

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  6. Awwwwwwwww...the rock hyraxes are so cute. They look like furry little bricks.

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    1. Haha, they do. They have such cute little faces and look as though they're actually smiling.

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  7. Interesting!

    But can certainly see, how you couldn't visit with Archie!

    ✨đŸŒ»✨

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    1. I don't think Archie would be interested in the least. We used to have pet rabbits in the garden and Archie didn't bother with them at all, but, rightly so, dogs aren't allowed in Wildlife World so we only visit when we don't have him with us.

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  8. Lovely seeing your visit to Lotherton & the animals. The Humboldt Penguins are larger than out Little Penguins, but beautful as well. It's been more like summer today. Must ring you over the weekend to meet up soon. Take care & huggles.

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    1. The penguins are so entertaining, they seem to be a favourite of many visitors. It's lovely to have some nice weather for the bank holiday weekend.

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  9. Nice to see your photographs, looks an interesting place to visit.

    There is just something so cute about penguins, I've not come across anyone who doesn't like them. Nice to see your photographs of the Humboldt penguin.

    Have a lovely weekend... I don't want it too hot, but sunshine would be nice :)

    All the best Jan

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    1. We live very close to Lotherton so it's a place we visit often, though usually to walk Archie so we don't get to see the animals in Wildlife World regularly. We've woken up to sunshine today so it looks as though we're going to have some nice weather for the bank holiday weekend.

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  10. You took some great photos of all these cute animals, some of them are positively posing for you!

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    1. There's so many interesting animals and birds at Lotherton, it's always nice to be able to visit.

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  11. I'm always happy when I hear about efforts to protect endangered animals from extinction. I've not heard of rock hyraxes before and would never have guessed they would be related to elephants, even distantly.

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    1. Apparently, rock hyraxes are the elephants closest relative. You wouldn't think so to look at them.

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  12. I do hope Archie recovers quickly, poor little chap. Loved all these pictures, especially the warty pigs and rock hyraxes. Glad your potatoes tasted good, shame you didn't get more though. I must go dig mine up.xxx

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    1. Archie's much better now, we're just being over cautious as the slightest thing can set his limp off again if we don't let it recover fully. I hope your potatoes perform better than mine, though I'm not complaining about the taste.

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  13. I have never heard of rock hyraxes, they do look rather cute with their smiley faces. I hope Archie is much better now.
    Have a good Bank Holiday x

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    1. I'd never heard of rock hyraxes before either but they're very cute. Archie's much better now, thank you. He's walking well on his lead so he'll get a good run in the next couple of days.

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  14. The rock hyraxes look cute but you wouldn't want to put your fingers near one as they can inflict a very nasty bite. In South Africa they are known as Dassies. I'm the same as you on zoos, I don't like to see 'wild' animals in captivity but if it's the only way to stop certain species from becoming extinct then maybe zoos have their place.

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    1. You wouldn't think the rock hyraxes would be vicious with that cute face, would you? It just goes to show that looks can be deceptive. I must admit that I look at animals in captivity with sadness but it's the only way to preserve some species, and there's many cases where the particular animal just wouldn't survive in the wild. I like to see a zoo or wildlife park looking after the animals well though.

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  15. I am so far behind reading blogs and just trying to get caught up. Your knitting is looking wonderful, many beautiful projects on the go. And your adventures with Mick are wonderful, too. A belated happy birthday to him. You two are so perfect for each other.

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    1. Thank you. I think after nearly thirty years of marriage we're stuck with each other now, haha.

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  16. I love visits to see animals, in fact, my 17 year old son has been asking me to take them this summer, but it's been so hot, I told him I don't even know if the animals will come out for us to see them. They are probably out in the very early morning before the zoo opens, but we will go in the fall. It seems the zoo is needed more and more for endangered animals!

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    1. Zoos around the world have played such a huge part in bringing animals back from the brink of extinction and it's always fun to go and see animals you wouldn't usually get the chance to see.

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