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Half term trips: Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre


Last week and next week were half term for me. In Perth and Kinross you get two weeks off in the autumn half term because Perthshire has a lot of farms and in olden days before there was X Factor the children were needed on the farms at this time to dig up potatoes. So this week and next week I have been doing lots of trips with my family that I am going to write about later. 

On Monday I went to the Scottish Seabird Centre to meet another amazing bone collector called Mrs Powell, and on Wednesday I went to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and I am going to write about those later. Today I am going to write about a trip that we did today to Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre. (I wrote one of my very first blog posts about a trip to Auchingarrich but somehow most of it got deleted)

Auchingarrich is a really good wildlife centre near my house, past some of the red deer woods that I walk in. It is like a big farm with a soft play and loads of animals. Here are some of the animals that I thought were interesting today.

 This is a black and white lemur. Lemurs come from Madagascar. There were two lemurs in a very big cage outside, and they had lots of ropes and things to climb on because they are very good climbers.

 All around the centre were lots of prairie dogs, which are not actually dogs but are rodents. They had dug tunnels so they could go all around the different enclosures.

 In one of the sheds was this cow skull. The arrows show where it was shot with a bolt gun to stun it before it died. That means it must have been killed in an abattoir.

 There are a family of red kites who live in the woods near the centre. When we were outside we saw the two parents circling overhead. This kite is unusual because it doesn't have wing tags to identify it and show where and when it was born.

 There was a red fox in one of the enclosures. It was very scared of humans and it hid behind a tree in the corner for most of the time.

 This is a common marmoset which is a small monkey from Brazil which has funny tufts at the ears and it is very pretty.

 This is a cute meerkat which is a type of mongoose which live in the desert in Africa where they sell insurance.

 This is an albino wallaby. 'Albino' means that it was born missing something which gave its skin and fur and eyes colour, so albinos are white with pink eyes. Wallabys are small kangaroos.

  There were two types of swans, a black swan and a whooper swan.

   This looked a bit like a greylag or pink-footed goose but it was a Chinese Goose.

  This is a kookaburra, which is a type of kingfisher from Australia.

  There were two Scottish wildcats. There are supposed to only be about 400 wildcats in the wild in Scotland. These were just curled up sleeping. I have seen wildcats before at the Scottish Deer Centre and they were curled up sleeping as well !

  This is a long nosed potoroo which are like tiny kangaroos. They were very shy.

There were lots of other animals too, so I have written about the rare ones. The other animals I saw were deer, goats, peacocks, horses, pigs, ostriches, polecats, skunks, chickens, ducks and lots of other ones too. It is a really good place to visit.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Jake,
What a delight to read your Blog and to see how enthusiastic you are about your subject.
I too collect bones and found your web site after searching for info on hedgehog skeletons. I've just found a somewhat old and decayed skeleton and am trying to work out if any of the bones are missing so your blog from last year was a real bonus.
I have recently been collecting skeletons from small mammals such as shrews, bank voles and wood mice (all found dead in the garden or local fields)and am finding it very difficult to put them together in the right order - they're very fiddley!
Please do not let your enthusiasm for this subject and your obvious love of all things natural fail - I look forward to hearing more of your exploits in the future and maybe one day it'll be you hosting the TV wildlife shows!:-)

Jake said...

Thank you for all the nice things you said about me ! I won't give up my blog any time soon !

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