Animal Management: Upper Sixth Students Visit Marwell Zoo
Can you spot the leopard?
Some of our Sixth Form Animal Management students were treated to a lesson outdoors recently, when Mr Juniper took them to visit Marwell Zoo in deepest Hampshire.
There was insufficient time to see everything but the purpose of the session was to focus on appropriate habitat creation and the security of enclosures in a major zoological park.
The zoo is now known as 'Marwell Wildlife' to reflect its conservation initiatives (especially in Africa) and was one of the earliest in Europe to place an emphasis on this aspect of Animal Management.
It now houses some 188 species in extensive grounds and has the UK's largest collection of ungulates, or hoofed animals, including a fine herd of the endangered Rothschild's giraffe.
Readers may recollect an incident some years ago, when one of these graceful animals, named Victor, did the 'splits'. He tore a muscle in his leg, collapsed on his stomach, and was unable to get up.
All efforts to get him back up on his feet failed and his plight became a major international news story.
Portsmouth Dockyard made a hoist to attempt to raise him but sadly he died of a heart attack very shortly afterwards in the arms of his keeper. However, the publicity turned Marwell into a major tourist attraction and interest was revived the following summer, when Victor's mate, Dribbles, gave birth to a female calf named Victoria.