I've written about Lotherton Hall on numerous occasions, it's only a ten minute drive from where we live and we usually visit several times each week as it's the perfect place to walk Archie. There's different walks around the estate but we rarely tour the hall or Wildlife World, which is situated in the grounds, as it's rare that we visit without Archie. Last week Archie hurt his leg and he's been limping so he's been on enforced rest at home. We took advantage of the situation on Saturday, visited Lotherton without him and had a look around Wildlife World.
The main attraction in Wildlife World is the colony of Humboldt penguins.
They're always playful, swimming up to the viewing windows and showing off.
These penguins are originally from South America and can live for up to twenty five years.
The natural surfaces and pool allow the penguins to behave as they would in the wild and also breed, which means that Lotherton can contribute to the national breeding programme as the species is listed as vulnerable.
Most of the flamingos were doing what flamingos usually do, standing on one leg. It's believed they do this to avoid muscular fatigue, it's an energy saving activity.
There always seems to be something new when we visit Wildlife World, this time it was the Nocturnal House. We didn't manage to see Bonnie and Clyde, the cloud rats, endemic to the cloud forests of The Philippines, but we did see the Egyptian fruit bats and Seba's Short-tailed bats, though they were far too fast to photograph. I did manage to take a picture of Pablo the Kinkajou though. He came to Lotherton from the Isle of Wight, though they're native to the tropical forests of Central and South America.
It was very dark in the Nocturnal House so my photos aren't the best but you get the idea.
Another animal in the Nocturnal House is Gaston the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo. Gaston lives in the same enclosure as Pablo the Kinkajou but Pablo seems to spend his time climbing on the ropes and branches which have been especially installed for him, whereas Gaston scurries around the ground. A member of staff entered the enclosure while we were there and Gaston was following her round wanting her to pet him. He's such a cutie.
A different member of staff invited us into the educational centre to get a closer look at the tortoises and while we were in there, we were being watched. Apparently, this white peacock just turned up at Lotherton about ten years ago and has stayed ever since. He's free to wander wherever he pleases.
The African Grey Crowned Crane is the national bird of Uganda and features in the country's flag and coat of arms. His crown makes him look very majestic.
This Southern Helmeted Curassow is called Angus. The conservation status was changed from Threatened to Endangered in 2005. They're found almost exclusively in Bolivia and some northern parts of South America but their numbers have declined due to deforestation for agriculture - shrinking the habitat area. The male will present the female with choice food gifts to entice her. If she accepts the gifts they will breed. I thought the way to a man's heart was through his stomach, obviously the other way round in this case.
Have you ever seen anything as cute as a Patagonian Mara. A relatively large rodent also known as the Patagonian cavy, Patagonian hare or dillaby. Found only in Argentina, they prefer to live in habitats with plenty of shrub cover. Being monogamous, pairs of Maras stay together for life. The male will follow the female wherever she goes, living in pairs or warrens of up to twenty nine pairs. That's quite specific, isn't it. I wonder what happens if thirty pairs get together.
I really enjoyed our little look around. Although we visit Lotherton often, it can be a few years between our visits to see the animals so I always look forward to it. Before we left, we went to have a look in the hall but unfortunately it was closed for cleaning. I do want to return as there's an exhibition there at the moment which I want to see so we might do that in the next few days.
I hope you enjoyed coming along for a visit to Wildlife World with us.