WORD FROM THE WILD: The Latest News From The Park

Written by Lorah, Education and Activities Officer at Cotswold Wildlife Park

October 2023

We have welcomed an exciting new arrival on the Reptile section this month as a Caiman Lizard arrived from Crocodiles of the World. Head Reptile Keeper Meg said:

“She is a species we on the Reptile team have all been interested in working with for a while now as they are a large and interesting lizard, without much representation in UK collections. Naturally, they inhabit the wetland forests of the Amazon basin and are known to be semi-aquatic, earning the ‘Caiman’ part of their name.

Caiman Lizards have powerful specialised jaws and teeth designed to crunch through the shells of snails, which forms the main part of their diet, as well as other crustaceans, fish and small amounts of fruit. Our new female is already settling in well and has been seen exploring all of her enclosure already.”

Caiman Lizard Caiman Lizard

Pay a visit to the Reptile House where you can see how she is settling in to her new home.

Parma Wallaby with baby in pouch

Photo credit: Jackie Thomas

Wallaby Manor

There have also been new arrivals and new developments taking place in the Walkthrough, as our group of Parma Wallabies have recently welcomed some joeys to the fold!The group have had their indoor space completely renovated and the new larger building, designed by Senior Mammal Keeper Jenni, has been nick-named ‘Wallaby Manor’.

Keep an eye out on your next visit for the joeys who have now started to venture out of their mothers’ pouches to explore their woodland home near the lake area.

Chilean flamingo chicks

Photo credit: Brian Lilly

If you visit our lake area in the coming months, you will hopefully see our fluffy Flamingo chicks amongst the rest of the group. A collective of Flamingos is aptly known as a ‘flamboyance’, however these young chicks who hatched in the summer haven’t yet got the striking pink colouring we all associate with these bright birds.

As they continue to grow over the next couple of years, their plumage will turn white and then eventually pink like their parents’ but for now, they are easily identifiable as the youngsters of the group.

Rodrigues Bat

Photo Credit: Emma Barrett

With the spooky season now underway, you might be very familiar with the image of a bat, but did you know that we have three different species of Fruit Bat here at the Park? In the Tropical House and courtyard Bat Exhibit you can find the Rodrigues Fruit Bats and in the Siamang House you can see the colony of Straw-Coloured Fruit Bats. We also have a small group of Seba’s Fruit Bats being cared for in an off-show enclosure.

Bats are incredible animals that play a vital role in their wild habitats. Fruit Bats are crucial to help pollinate fruit-producing plants from the way they feed and excrete waste. Straw Coloured Bats In some parts of the world there are certain species of tropical plants that rely solely on pollination from the Fruit Bats inhabiting the same area. Make sure you stop and pay our brilliant bats a visit!


This autumn we will be sourcing our pumpkins from the Jubilee Gardens Project once again for the Park’s annual ‘Pumpkin Patch’ display. The Swindon based charity supports adults who experience varying levels of learning disability to grow all sorts of wonderful produce. They plant and nurture the pumpkins from seed before generously donating them to us for the Pumpkin Patch.

Pumpkin Patch SpiderChainsaw Pumpkin Every department in the Park then gets involved with creating some weird and wonderful pumpkins and the Gardens team skilfully assembles the display ready for visitors to enjoy. If you would like to find out more about the Jubilee Gardens charity please click here.

Keep your eyes peeled for the scarily good display in front of the Farm Barn during the October half term holiday!


Please could we remind you that the clocks go back on Sunday 29 October 2023. The Park is open daily from 10:00am and our closing time will change to 4:00pm or DUSK (whichever is earlier), with last admission at 3:00pm, from Sunday 29 October onwards.

Thank You


Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens