Fota Wildlife Park native species weekend

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Fota Wildlife Park is situated on 75 acres on Fota Island in Co. Cork. The park was

officially opened in 1983 by President Dr. Patrick Hillery. It has about 30 mammals

and 50 bird species. The park allows most of the friendlier animals to roam

freely which gives visitors a great opportunity to get up close to them.

We were delighted to receive an invite to attend their 30th birthday celebrations held

last weekend. To mark the big year for the park they hosted a native species weekend

to showcase the incredible diversity of Irish wildlife.

 

 

Fish tank

The event was held outside in glorious sun shine under a marquee tent. It was our first

time going to the park and it lived up to our high expectations. We loaded the gear up

and got a lift through the park from Lynda and heard all about the conservation

efforts. It was a great way to start the weekend. Our little animals had survived the trip

down from Dublin and looked great in the tank due to the crystal clear water.

 

 

 

DSCN0747A lot of late nights were spent on our board game. We designed a new version of snakes

and ladders. We put together some facts about marine life and litter in the hope that

the children (and adults!) would take away a few memorable quotes.

 

For all our efforts on the game one of the biggest hits of our educational area were the

colouring pages and marine identification books.

 

 

 

Mini diver

An important thing to do when working with children is to communicate on their level.

Our child sized mannequin always goes down great at our presentations.

 

The children can relate to the smaller size and they can visualize themselves scuba

diving or snorkelling which is what we are aiming to encourage.

 

 

 

 

DSCN0821The event went on for two days during which we had the chance to walk around the

park and take a look at the diverse range of wildlife. The Red pandas may

not move around too much but their soft red fur strikes a beautiful contrast to the

green in the trees. They are fed on locally grown bamboo.

Click here for more info.

 

 

 

 

Lemur

As we rambled around the park we had numerous close up encounters with the free

roaming animals. One of our favourites was the Ring-tailed Lemur. It is apparently the

oldest living primate in the world which dates back some 65 million years!

Hailing from Madagascar these social animals were the obvious choice to star in the movie “Madagascar”.

Click here for more info.

 

 

 

 

DSCN0789The primates are always a highlight of visiting a zoo or park, perhaps its the similarities

they share with us. The Agile gibbons were on a small island to themselves but still

appeared quite close across the small stretch of water. The name gives the game away

about their behaviour. They bounced around the island and appeared to be enjoying

the summer sun.

Click here for more info.

 

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, especially Lynda Mc Sweeney, for giving us the chance to attend the native species event.

The park should be top of everyone’s list of things to do this year. Visit www.Fotawildlife.ie for more info.