The newest addition to the Fota Wildlife Park family was spotted hopping around just in time for Easter. A joey (a baby kangaroo) was born recently to mother Holly and father Thumper. The joey, of the Eastern Grey variety, approx. ten months old and is keeping close to its mother's pouch. So far we don't know if it's a boy or girl but we do know it is fast finding its feet.
In Fota Wildlife Park our kangaroos are free-roaming. They are active during the day, and are timid animals, hard to get close to but often seen crossing paths near the woodland areas where they feed, or feeding in the long grass in the giraffe paddock.
Breeding is all year-round, with a gestation of approximately 36 days. Even though the joey is born the size of a grape, and crawls into the mother's pouch where it receives milk. The joey leaves the pouch after about 9 months, and is fully weaned at 12-17 months.
Kids and families in search of things to do this Easter weekend will not be disappointed after a visit to Fota Wildlife Park. The park will play host to a range of activities including Cork's most interactive Easter egg hunt, drumming workshops, magic shows and kid's activities.
All day Saturday, Sunday & Monday Fota Wildlife Park will be holding an Easter hunt where you need to identify pictures and answer questions on your favourite animals to be rewarded with a chocolate treat. Clues will be posted around the park.
If chocolate isn't your pleasure, Pete from Beatz will be teaching people how to have fun with drums on Easter Sunday and Monday 12pm - 4pm. Live magic shows with Tony Baloney, a familiar face to the park, will be up to his usual antics on Good Friday & Easter Saturday 1pm - 4pm.
With two weeks to fill throughout Easter holidays there are kids activities daily including arts & crafts plus face painting 12pm - 5pm plus wildlife talks on your favourite animals daily 11am - 5pm.
Fota Wildlife's Education department is also running Easter Camps for kids aged 5-12 years from 11th to 13th April however, prior booking is essential.
Easter is not the only occasion to be celebrating around the park as some new arrivals can be seen. Breeding programmes are a large part of the attraction at Fota Wildlife Park and allows visitors to see even larger groups of animals in a unique situation.
March saw a major boost in these programmes with the arrival of a new group of ten Humboldt penguins from Belfast Zoo, followed by five Northern African Cheetahs arriving from Zoo de la Palmyre, France.
Park Director, Sean Mc Keown, was very pleased with the way the animals were adapting to their new homes. He said; "Both groups are settling in well and can be seen enjoying their new surroundings. Even the penguins have struck luck and have received a makeover with their stylist new extension."
The new and improved penguin enclosure now includes a larger pool, an added bridge and more space so it resembles their natural environment.
Feeding times have also been revised for Spring/Summer and can be found here:http://www.fotawildlife.ie/visitor-information/feeding/