WORD FROM THE WILD: The Latest News From The Park

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

October 2022

Welcome! Our new monthly news update will give you a little taste of what life is like here at Cotswold Wildlife Park and put the spotlight on some very special animals, plants and people.

We care for over 250 different species here at the Park, and we would like to celebrate them with you – from the tiniest tadpole to the tallest giraffe! Be sure to check our WORD FROM THE WILD posts to stay up to date and informed about what to look out for on your next visit.

Firstly, our baby Giant Anteater has been named through a social media poll – welcome to the world…Zena! Senior Mammal Keeper Jenni said: “We thought it would be lovely to involve the visitors in the naming of our new addition. I think it allows people to feel more connected to the animal, and to the Park.”

Anteater baby close up (credit keeper Willemijn)
Anteater baby close up (credit keeper Willemijn)

Little Zena is gaining independence every day and can be spotted scampering around with her mum, Zeta, at the top of our Walkthrough next to the Farm Barn.

Anteater baby close up (credit keeper Willemijn)

It has been a busy time down in the Amphibian Room, where keepers have been trying to mimic the wild habitats of frogs during their breeding season. Reptile Keeper Meg has been spending time carefully designing the enclosures: “Our Mexican Leaf Frogs produced eggs for the first time which was really exciting, and hopefully they will continue to grow bigger and stronger every day.”

Mexican Leaf Frogspawn
Mexican Leaf Tadpoles

Mexican Leaf Frogs

We will keep you updated with the progress of these fantastic frogs over the next few months, and you can find the Amphibian Room in the Walled Garden near the Madagascar Lemur Walkthrough.

During the summer, keepers breathed a sigh of relief as the new male Asian Short-Clawed Otter, Kyoto, was introduced to our female, Rita. It can be a nerve-wracking time for keepers when introducing animals together for the first time, but on this occasion it couldn’t have gone better. Senior Keeper Hayley said: “They were just so excited to meet each other and have been inseparable ever since. Kyoto is very playful and inquisitive and likes to try and steal our cleaning tools! But they mostly spend their time curled up together, either in bed or in the sunshine.”

Asian Short-Clawed Otters, Kyoto and Rita

You can find this playful pair in the Walled Garden opposite the Prairie Dogs, and we will be sure to add more updates on our very in-love otters as time goes on.

Lastly, it’s that time of year again and there’s a change in the air…the leaves are falling, and our annual pumpkin patch is calling!

October half term saw the return of our frightfully impressive annual Pumpkin Patch!

Pumpkin – Lion

Pumpkin – Butterfly Pumpkin – Medusa

Pumpkin – Bug

We source our pumpkins from the Jubilee Gardens Project – a local charity based in Swindon where adults who experience varying levels of learning disabilities grow all sorts of wonderful produce. The students grow and nurture the pumpkins from seed before kindly donating them to us for the display – in which our Gardening team and other staff members get to show off their spook-tacular creative skills!

If you would like to find out more about the charity, please visit: www.jubileegardens.co.uk


In September, keepers and staff completed a 7k Fun Run in support of wildlife rangers from the Impact Madagascar conservation charity.

In September, keepers and staff completed a 7k Fun Run in support of wildlife rangers from the Impact Madagascar conservation charity.

Wildlife Ranger Challenge – September 2022

Over 100 African Wildlife Ranger teams across the continent ran a half marathon, in aid of the protection of African wildlife, and we were more than happy to get involved and show our support. All the funds raised went to this incredible cause and so a big well done to everyone who took part.

Throughout August we also put the conservation spotlight on our ‘crash’ of Southern White Rhinos as ‘Rhino Month’ took place.

Rhino Month Stall

The month-long celebration was a huge success, and with special thanks to the generosity of our kind visitors, we raised an incredible £1,300 for the Tusk Trust conservation charity the highest amount a single fundraising event has raised here at Cotswold Wildlife Park. The continued support of visitors means that we can be a part of conservation charities like Tusk Trust and contribute to the protection of species that are so important to the world in which we live.

If you would like to learn more about the other charities and projects that we support, please take a look at our conservation page: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk/conservation/

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens