Tropical Wings Zoo Welcomes New Additions To The Family
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
LITTLE lambs are always a popular attraction at Easter, and now Tropical Wings Zoo in Essex has taken the cute factor to a new level by introducing two adorable rare exotic animals just in time for the holidays.
Hercules and Venus are not your average springtime lambs – the black-faced cuties are Cameroon Lambs, which originate from West Africa.
Four-week-old Hercules and his best friend Venus, who is just two-weeks old, are being hand-reared by keeper Vicky Burnett at the South Woodham Ferrers zoo and will soon be ready to meet children visiting during the holidays.
Vicky said: “We’ve been hand-feeding Venus every day, from early morning through to 10pm at night, and Hercules comes along to keep her company. Because he is a little older he is already eating for himself – munching on hay and sheep pellets – and we’re hoping he will be a good influence on Venus and she’ll soon start following suit.
“They’re such adorable, friendly little creatures and they love cuddles. They’re almost ready to come out and meet their visitors – we just need the weather to warm up slightly so they don’t get too cold! – and for the time being they can be viewed through a window which looks into their enclosure.
“The children love watching Venus get fed – it’s a very cute thing to see because she’s so little and tame.”
Tropical Wings Zoo manager John Ray said: “We decided to extend our exotic family by bringing in these two beautiful Cameroon Lambs and I think they’re going to be a massive hit with our visitors, particularly over the Easter holidays.
“They’re very rare in the UK, with only a few zoos keeping them, so we’re really delighted to have Hercules and Venus here at Tropical Wings.
“The lambs can start breeding from a year old so hopefully next year we’ll welcome a new baby to the flock just in time for summer.”
Cameroon Lambs originated in West Africa and in 2008 there were less than 650 of them in the world, however, thanks to breeding in zoos, their numbers are steadily rising.
The lambs are brown in colour, with distinctive black bellies, legs and head, with occasional white spots at the bottom of their legs. They have hair instead of wool, which they shed in the spring, and females can give birth twice a year.
Tropical Wings is open daily from 10am until 5pm.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
Tropical Wings Zoo is based in South Woodham Ferrers, south of Chelsmford in Essex. It is home to an extensive collection of birds and variety of exotic animals including meerkats, ring-tailed lemurs, wallabies and huge koi carp. It is also home to one of the UK’s finest tropical butterfly houses. It is open all year round. Visitors can get up close and personal with some of the Zoo’s most popular animals and educations tours are offered for groups and schools.