The Cheetah Run - 4 mile road race

The Cheetah Run, May 21st, Fota Wildlife Park, Cork The Cheetah is a most graceful cat, whose long legs and semi-retractile claws are adaptations to coursing swift antelope prey.  Cheetahs stalk their prey to about 30m, then sprint at up to 110kph. Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has been exceptionally successful in breeding Cheetahs in captivity.  Over 180 cubs have been born in the park since 1985. The Cheetah formerly occupied all…

Ol’ Blue Eyes

It is truly amazing, the amount of intriguing stories to be told of Fota Wildlife Park’s animals. Each individual really does have a unique past and an even more unique personality to match. Our oldest spider monkey ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ is however somewhat special amongst Fota’s animals. This is due to the place in which her story began-The Wild! Unlike all the other animals in the park which were born in captivity, she was born in the…

Irelands Amphibians

Ireland has only three representatives of the amphibian family: the common frog, the natterjack toad and the smooth newt. The common frog or Loscán has a very widely spread distribution, found in most parts of Ireland. They thrive in areas such as damp forests, peat and farm land. When they begin breeding, they seek out ponds in which to lay their eggs. The natterjack toad or Cnádán is endangered animal here in Ireland. It can only be…

Evolution and Extinction

Isn’t evolution a marvellous process? When ever I walk through the park, I never cease to wonder at animals and how they came to be. Take for example the giraffe. Through intense competition for grasses and other ground plants, the giraffe evolved to eat the inaccessible areas: high tree tops! I always ask the question when I give my Giraffe Talk, how did the giraffe get it’s long neck? New bones added?. Or just elongation of exisiting neck…

Family Frog Day

Fun, food, frogs and conservation! It’s all happening in Fota Wildlife Park on Saturday, 27th of September. This event, our Family Froggy Fun Day, is taking place at 12 o’clock in the park as part of Fota Wildlife Park’s conservation effort to save many of the world’s amphibians from the brink of extinction. During this family  event, the main aim of the day is combining fun with raising awareness about the ‘Amphibian Alarm:…

Escapes

When visitors of Fota Wildlife Park enter the park, they are usually taken aback at the initial sight of the giraffes in the large paddock. This is more often than not continued by scanning all the other weird and wonderful creatures that share the giraffes’ space including the zebra, oryx, emu, ostrich and many little maras- or as one man coined them “little jack russell dogs”- bobbing about. While standing observing on the other side of…

New beginnings at Fota Wildlife Park

It has been a remarkable time lately to visit Fota and as someone who has been working here for the last month the place still surprises me, constantly offering something new and interesting every week. During my first few weeks here I had the pleasure of seeing first hand the pattering troops of goslings and ducklings march and swim in formation behind their mothers, while dad kept a protective eye fixed on his young and taught harsh lessons…

Weird and Wonderful Amphibians

Ever hear of a mudpuppy? Or a siren? How about an olm, a hellbender , a waterdog or even a amphiuma? No? They are all wonderfully whimsical names for equally wonderful creatures: the amphibians. Amphibians are fascinating creatures, having been here on earth for more the 230 million years.    The mudpuppy and waterdog are North American aquatic salamanders. They are stout, elongated creatures that have retained some of their…

Welcoming Finn

I was overjoyed at the sight of Finn, our newborn giraffe calf, peering at me with big doe eyes. At the time i saw him he was only one week old and it was the first time the door of his house was opened and he could see the world outside. He was born on the 4th of July and was the cause of much celebration here at Fota Wildlife Park! Roisin, his mother, had carried him for an incredible 14 months and now that he was out in the world, she…