Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
KEEPERS at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm are brushing up their skills ahead of work starting on a multi-million pound Elephant Eden at the site.
Head keeper at the Wraxall attraction, Chris Wilkinson, travelled to Germany to learn more about the giant beasts at the First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg.
Work on the Elephant Eden – which it is claimed will be Europe's biggest elephant sanctuary – is due to start later his year.
Under expert guidance from experienced elephant keepers and industry specialists, Mr Wilkinson was given intense tuition in elephant husbandry, working closely with elephants in real-life scenarios.
From theoretical study of elephant biology and behaviour, through to hands-on practical health-checks including foot care and cleaning, the Elephant Management School based at Hagenbeck's Tierpark provides a comprehensive training program for zoo keepers from across the globe.
Mr Wilkinson, who has more than 12 years experience managing the current collection at Noah's Ark, which includes rhinos, giraffes and lions, will work alongside a specialist new team of experienced elephant keepers to be employed at the zoo if the project is successful.
The Elephant Eden complex is set to give 20 acres of roaming territory for Asian elephants, who will benefit from a vast heated house, extensive sand yards and an indoor swimming pool.
Mr Wilkinson said: "The teaching at Hagenbeck was of an extremely high standard and has equipped me with a foundational knowledge of elephant welfare and husbandry which we hope will come in useful here at Noah's Ark in the future.
"Elephants are highly intelligent, specialist mammals.
"They require professional care when in captivity."
Noah's Ark is preparing to reopen for its new season on Saturday February 4 after its usual winter break.
Visitors can enjoy improved public facilities this year after significant structural changes.
A new visitor entrance and enlarged cafe are some of the building developments which will improve the visitor experience this February.
For more information and for admission prices visit www.noahsark zoofarm.co.uk or phone 01275 852606.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
A WOMAN who was part of a group campaigning to save an unspoilt Nailsea woodland and meadow from development died after suffocating herself, an inquest has heard.
Police were called to the home of Melanie Gould on October 18 last year after her husband Tim found her collapsed in the bedroom.
An inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court heard how Mrs Gould, a dental surgeon, had made an attempt to suffocate herself, and had left three suicide notes.
Paramedics resuscitated Mrs Gould, 51, and she was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary where she died three days later.
A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death as a hypoxic brain injury – caused when the brain is starved of oxygen – due to asphyxiation.
PC Adam Clarke, who was called to East End House, at Nowhere Lane, at around 7.20pm on October 18 said Mrs Gould had been found in the bedroom and when he arrived he saw her being put on a stretcher and taken to hospital by ambulance.
Assistant deputy coroner Dr Simon Fox said there was further evidence relating to the case that would not be read out at the hearing.
Mr Fox said: "Whatever the wider circumstances, the evidence is that she took her own life. We have the exhibits of the suicide notes which she wrote. This leads me to believe she did intend to kill herself."
Mrs Gould, born in Tanzania, was part of a group of residents campaigning to save a piece of unspoilt woodland and meadow, which forms part of a bridle path to East End House, from development. They raised £30,000 to buy the site but were outbid by property developer Vince Nguyen, of Land Promotions Ltd.
Mrs Gould had lived at East End House for 15 years and wanted the site retained in its current form.
Plans have since been revealed to build two four-bed two-storey detached homes on the site with access off the bridle path.
Mr Fox recorded a verdict of suicide.