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National Trust reopens Agatha Christie’s holiday home

Authored by Mary

On Saturday 5 September, the National Trust in the South West will see Greenway House open its doors daily, for the first time in more than four months - with several new safety measures in place.

Last month two South West properties; Barrington Court and Kingston Lacy, reopened as part of a phased reopening of 200 houses which were closed as part of the national lockdown in March....

Torquay penguins inspire novel

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Living Coasts, in Torquay, famous for its penguins, has helped inspire a novelist to write a book featuring penguins – published by Penguin.

The novel, by Exmoor-based writer Hazel Prior, is called Away With The Penguins . Living Coasts' Senior Keeper, Jason Keller, helped Hazel with her research into hand-rearing baby penguins.

Away With The Penguins has been described as a...

How to tell if your great ape is pregnant...

Authored by Paigntonzoo

The world’s number one selling brand in home pregnancy and fertility tests has donated pregnancy kits – for orang utans.

The Clearblue brand helps over 20 million women every year – and now, a couple of broody female Bornean orang utans… Keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon approached Clearblue because they hope their orang utans will breed this year.

Senior Head Keeper of Mammals...

Charity zoos: business as usual

Authored by Paigntonzoo

The three South West zoos run by regional conservation charity Wild Planet Trust have a defiant message for coronavirus: “It’s business as usual”.

Staff and volunteers are prepared for the impact of coronavirus, but at this time the charity zoos remain open. Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “We’re monitoring the situation closely and will naturally continue to follow the advice of...

Doh! Homer’s keepers are seeing double…

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Keepers at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, had to do a double-take recently when they discovered that European common lobster Homer had moulted for the first time in two years.

Aquarist Sam Worthington was particularly pleased, as it was the first time he’d moulted in her time at the charity zoo: “This exoskeleton is almost perfect - right down to the antennae and the eyes....

Zoo keepers get fish to clean their own aquarium

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Ingenious aquarists at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium, have trained strange fish to help clean their tank of a naturally-occurring pest.

Filefish, or leatherjackets, have been introduced into the charity zoo’s large stingray tank to help control an invasive anemone.

Aquarist Tom Fielding: “Aiptasia is a common temperate and tropical sea anemone. It comes in...

Zoo keepers save animals after storm damage

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Keepers at Paignton Zoo saved scores of animals after recent storms damaged a key building.

High winds ripped open a 36-metre-long air vent in the roof of Reptile Tropics at around 7.30 one morning, exposing vulnerable animals, plants and electrics. Staff rushed to save lizards, snakes, turtles, iguanas, chameleons and geckos as the temperature in the building dropped. Meanwhile,...

New partnership to help Bay’s underwater rainforest

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Two local names with international reputations are joining forces to help a very special - but largely unknown - species. Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium, is linking up with Valeport, the Totnes-based underwater measuring instrumentation specialists.

The focus of their partnership is seagrass, a remarkable plant that flowers underwater and forms dense meadows in...

Paignton Zoo’s new Changing Places facility will change lives

Authored by Paigntonzoo

People with a range of disability and accessibility needs have started the new decade on a happy note thanks to Paignton Zoo. The conservation charity has joined forces with the National Lottery and accessibility experts Closomat to provide a new Changing Places toilet.

Changing Places toilets have more room and more equipment than standard accessible toilets. The zoo’s new facility is...

Zoo says good bye to Lucifer

Authored by Paigntonzoo

Paignton Zoo is sad to announce that senior male lion Lucifer has had to be put to sleep.

Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling: “Lucifer was 17 years old, so he was a good age for an Asiatic lion. He was, like a lot of us, showing signs of wear and tear on his body. He had some weakness and ataxia – that’s wobbliness in his hind limbs – he would stagger occasionally, especially when going up...

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