The Wiltshire safari park says its annual festival has more balloons in the air than this year's Bristol Balloon Fiesta.Read the full story ›
A pair of aardvarks have made short work of a giant sandcastle built especially for them at Longleat Safari Park.
Frankie and Nacho kept digging out the sand in their enclosure, so a team from Weston Sand Sculpture Festival was brought in to create something that would challenge them - but it didn't last long.
The mammals have specially-adapted spade-like claws and are famous for their tunneling ability.
Alf, had to be anaesthetised after keepers at the Wiltshire safari park spotted swelling to his lower jaw.Read the full story ›
A rare baby giant anteater has been born at Longleat as part of a captive-breeding programme for the bizarre-looking South American mammal.Read the full story ›
A group of guinea pigs were the obvious candidates to try out a miniature polling station at Longleat this week.Read the full story ›
Longleat’s oldest resident, Nico the gorilla, received a bouquet of daffodils from keepers to signal spring is finally on its way.Read the full story ›
The two cubs - a male and a female - were born at the Wiltshire safari park eight weeks ago.Read the full story ›
The Sky Safari is the latest in a year-long series of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Longleat Safari Park.Read the full story ›
A rare red panda cub has been born at Longleat after keepers launched an international lonely hearts ad to find a mate for their male.
It’s the first time the famous Wiltshire safari park has successfully bred red pandas.
Dad Ajenda, which means ‘King of the Mountain’, came to Longleat from Germany in 2012 and mum Rufina, meaning ‘red-haired’, arrived from Italy just over a year later, following an appeal by keepers.
The birth is particularly welcome as this particular pairing is deemed to be critical to the ongoing success of European Endangered Species Programme for the Red Panda.
Like their famous, but unrelated, namesakes the giant pandas, red pandas are increasingly endangered in the wild.
The species was officially designated as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008 when the global population was estimated at about 10,000 individuals.
Like giant pandas about two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods so they have to eat a lot of it to survive.
As it is relatively low in calories, red pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping.
As well as plain bamboo keepers supplement their diet with a mix of fruits, eggs and the occasional insects. They also make a special type of bamboo cake which the pandas are especially fond of.
A red panda was featured as Master Shifu, the Kung Fu teacher, in the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda and its 2011 sequel Kung Fu Panda 2.
We’re delighted with how well Rufina is looking after the young cub and both mother and baby are doing brilliantly.
Cubs don’t tend to start venturing out on their own for the first three months and Rufina, like all red panda mums, regularly moves the cub to different nesting areas.
This is perfectly natural behaviour but makes keeping track of the baby, or even confirming what sex it is, somewhat problematic for us!
Longleat Safari Park has announced that crowd favourite Boulas the gorilla has died
The 27-year-old male Western lowland gorilla Boulas died yesterday. Early indications are that he died of respiratory failure related to an undiagnosed abscess in his throat.
A full post mortem is being carried out.
Longleat’s Director of Animal Operations, Jon Cracknell, said: “This is a tragic loss and a cause for great sadness across the entire safari park.
“Boulas’ keepers in particular have been devastated by the death of an individual they worked and lived with every day.”
Boulas had undergone a standard veterinary procedure to treat a suspected dental abscess. Following recovery he suffered severe respiratory problems and despite the best efforts of the veterinary team, it was not possible to save him.
Boulas arrived at Longleat in 2012 from Twycross Zoo as part of a new state-of-the-art Gorilla Colony.