Noah's Ark zoo farm

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Please feed animals plea gets Polly, 8, fundraising

Noah’s Ark is re-opening to the public on Tuesday, June 23 at 10.30am with a special schoolgirl guest of honour.

The Wraxall  zoo farm is home to more than 100 different animals including lions, bears, giraffe, zebras, rhinos and gibbons and has been closed for 88 days due to the coronavirus crisis.

With mounting costs and needing £8,000 a month just to feed the animals they sent out a crowdfunding appeal.

And one of the first to answer was a young girl called Polly Robertson, aged eight.

Little Miss Robertson wanted to help the zebras after she received a birthday letter in April from the zebra with the same name.

Polly, the Zebra sent Polly, the human, a birthday letter, because there was no birthday visit due to lockdown.

This prompted the youngster to walk one mile a day for 64 days to equal the distance from her Herefordshire home to Noah’s Ark raising money for the animal support fund.

Polly, who was a guest on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, spoke to the radio host about how she wanted to raise money to help feed the animals at Noah’s Ark.

After her radio slot her JustGiving page amount shot up to £11k, meaning that Polly had surpassed her £100 target big time and helped to feed the zoo animals for a whole month!

Managing director Larry Bush said: “We’re bowled over by Polly’s fundraising efforts to help feed and care for our zebras here at Noah’s Ark.

“We love it when people share our passion for animals and Polly is definitely as mad about zebras as we are.

“It’s been a tough few month and a worrying time for the zoo and Polly has been an inspiration to all of us.

“We can’t wait to welcome Polly and her family to the zoo when we re-open and to introduce her to our dazzle of zebras including Polly the zebra and baby zebra Hope.”

Admission tickets must be bought online beforehand HERE.

Adult tickets cost £19.75 and there are concessions for children and groups. Children under two and carers go free.

Fund to feed animals

Noah's Ark zoo farm at Wraxall is fundraising to feed the animals as pandemic has forced it to close to visitors and it is maxed out at bank.

Managing director Larry Bush said: "Here at Noah’s Ark we rely entirely on visitors for our income – ticket sales and income from the café and gift shop is what keeps us afloat.

"So being closed to the public is hugely challenging for us as we still need to feed and care for our animals and even in lockdown we need a team of 20 dedicated keepers working hard to care for our animals seven days a week.

"This all costs a lot of money and we’ve already extended our borrowing to the absolute limit.

"We are now at a stage where we need to ask for help so that we can continue to feed and care for the 120 species of amazing animals here at Noah’s Ark.

"It costs us £8,000 each month to feed our animals and we are hoping we can raise this amount of money to help keep us going for the next month.

"Each animal has different needs from elephants, rhinos and giraffes to gibbons, giant anteaters and meerkats.

"These are animals with specialist diets and they need skilled care from trained animal keepers.

"We made a video to highlight the amount of food that we feed our animals at our zoo in one day.

"Please do consider making a donation to help us to continue to feed and care for our animals."

So far the crowdfunding has raised £6,391 of its £8,000.

To donate click HERE.

KHAN IS DEAD: Khan the 17-year-old Bengal tiger at Noah’s Ark has died. A spokeman said: “He was such a huge character here at the zoo and was loved by staff and visitors alike." Khan has lived in the Big Cat enclosure at the Wraxall zoo farm since 2009 along with a female companion, Tiana. He was a bit of a poster boy for the zoo and a great favourite of founder Anthony Bush. Anthony said: "I am especially sad at the death of our very old and friendly tiger Khan, at the grand old age of 17. Like his mate and so many old cats he had suffered from a kidney disease for several months, and was on medication. But all animal life, as human life, has to reach its end. Khan had been a gift to me from the world-renowned tiger breeder Martin Lacey, who had reared him from a cub. It has been a great privilege for me to have received much of the affection Khan had felt towards Martin, transferred to me, as, for most of the 11 years he was with us, we walked together, ran together at the side of his enclosure with just a weldmesh fence between us. Then he would  stop and rub my hand, perhaps many thousands of times over the years, and lie down and rest with me while I introduced visitors to him. I know many thousands of our visitors, whom I spoke to beside the fence, appreciated being so close to such a magnificent, potentially lethal, yet affectionate animal. We thank God for Khan as we ask with Rudyard Kipling: “Tiger, tiger burning bright/ in the forest of the night/ what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry/….. did He smile his work to see/ did He who made the lamb make thee?” A Bengal tiger has an average lifespan of 8-10 years in the wild. Bengal tigers are classified as Endangered on the IUCN red list.

A little Hope in an uncertain time

A baby zebra called Hope has been born at Noah’s Ark in the midst of the COVID19 outbreak.

Mum Polly, aged five, gave birth to the foal on Thursday, March 19, at the Wraxall zoo farm the last day of opening before the coronavirus shutdown.

Zoo keepers decided on the name Hope, to signify to visitors and staff, that in these unprecedented times, there is still hope that things will return to normal and life will keep on going.

Hope will live in the zebra enclosure and joins her father, Zebedee, the rest of the dazzle, including another young zebra called Sprout, who was born in December 2019. 

Senior keeper, Emma Ogborne said: "The news around the world has been dominated by the coronavirus and when Hope arrived safely into the world, she brought so much happiness to the whole zoo team. 

"That's when we knew we had to call her Hope ".

New-born foals are born with their stripes, although they are brown and white. 

The stripes will turn to black as the young zebra gets older.

Grant’s Zebra, a subspecies of Plain’s Zebras, are registered as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list.

  • Noah’s Ark is currently closed due to the COVID19 outbreak. The zoo farm which attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually started in 1999 and is home to lions, tiger, bears, giraffe, zebras, rhinos and gibbons. As well as the longest hedge maze in Europe, in normal times visitors can enjoy huge indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds. For more details see our website: www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk

MOTHER'S DAY: Spoil your Mum at Noah's Ark zoo farm. Join us on Saturday, March 21, to give all kinds of mum a truly special day, We are celebrating Mum’s by offering a FREE bacon or sausage bap before 11:15am – just tell the ticket office you are a mum! There will be lot’s going on including the opportunity to feed the giraffes for £2 per person between 11.30-noon. And before you go home, why not also write a nice message to mum and hang it on our Messages For Mum Tree Don’t forget to look out around the zoo, for some of our mums including, Arusha, our African lion, Genny, our giraffe and Nola, our zebra. 

  • Please note all giraffe feeding participants must be aged over six-years-old

Woo @ zoo

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is hosting an animal couples fun trail and fete during February half term.

Come for a ‘date’ at Woo At The Zoo; from coconut shy to skittles, there will be something for all the family. 

Visit the zoo to learn all about the animals’ relationships with each other. Get to know more about their monogamous pair of Mara, Marius and Marilyn or visit the giraffe, zebra and lion families.

Many of the animals share their lives with a special someone!

Find out what the couples like and dislike, how long they’ve shared a home and fun facts about their personalities trail.

There is the opportunity for bug handling with giant African snails, stick insects and cockroaches!

And the café has some new Valentine’s inspired treats from Woo Waffles with a selection of yummy toppings to cream teas with homemade cakes.

You can work here too!

Noah's Ark is looking for new staff.

The North Somerset zoo farm is expanding and is looking to recruit more than 30 seasonal and permanent staff to its team.

Job opportunities range from animal keepers, park rangers and welcome assistants through to roles in catering, cleaning and gardening.  

The zoo farm near Nailsea needs enthusiastic and committed people with a keen focus on customer service.

Even better, for every member of staff they hire, the zoo will plant a tree as part of its Go Even Greener initiative.

The zoo will be planting a variety of tree species, including oak, hornbeam, beech and silver birch which will be planted in the conservation area at the zoo.

During the past 20 years, Noah’s Ark has planted more than 20,000 trees as part of its conservation work to encourage wildlife and to provide a sustainable source of browse for feeding its animals including African elephants and giraffes.

Noah’s Ark is expanding with a new leader at the helm, Larry Bush.

The son of the owners, Anthony and Christina, Larry brings experience from a 25 year career in international business and most recently as a director of fair trade organization, Traidcraft.

He returned to the west country to become the new managing director in September 2019 and has plans for growing the zoo in the future.

Larry said: “We’re delighted that so many people already love coming to Noah’s Ark as visitors, members, schools and volunteers.

"Our plan is to extend our welcome so that even more people can enjoy getting up close to our amazing animals and experiencing the fresh air, countryside and adventurous play that we offer.

"Part of our plan to be more accessible is to be open seven days a week from April through until the autumn school half-term.”

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm will be opening seven days a week from Sundays, April 5-November 1, that is an extra 31 days during 2020.

OUTDOORS: Getting out in nature is known to be good for our physical and emotional health but reports are showing that children are not getting out and about enough. A National Trust reports says children spend so little time outdoors that they are unfamiliar with some of our commonest wild creatures, and only 36 per cent of children under the age of 16 have visited the countryside. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is inviting people to blow away the cobwebs in the new year, by walking around the 100-acre zoo set in North Somerset countryside and seeing elephants, lions, tigers, bears and meerkats along with British farm animals and native wildlife. And to make it even more incredible their popular Children Go Free promotion is back in 2020. With the arrival of two little ones, a baby zebra and giraffe, it seems only fitting that there should be more little people at the zoo too. For the first six weeks of the year, starting on Thursday, Januray 2, all Children Go Free with a paying adult. With nearly 2000 people using the code in January and February 2019, the zoo is hoping the offer will be just as well received this year.  Noah’s Ark runs Big Bug Bonanza and BioBlitz events, aiming to get children involved in wildlife, the zoo hosts many educational events to encourage children and their families to get back to nature. Bring all your family to the zoo and enjoy an amazing fun family day out. Use the voucher code ‘FREECHILD’ when purchasing an adult ticket for a free child ticket. Click HERE to buy online tickets.

Onboard Noah's Ark in 2019

2019 has been a fantastic year for the zoo in Wraxall.

This year has marked the 20th anniversary of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and has proved to be a remarkable year with new animal arrivals, new developments and record-breaking visitor numbers.

It also marks the start of a new era for the family enterprise.

Lots of animals have joined the zoo this year including a giant anteater, two new Andean bears, a baby giraffe, Gilbert and a newly born zebra. 

 The zoo has physically expanded with two new buildings, an enclosure and an extension to the food barn.

The Buttery, so called because of the link to the farms’ dairy history, holds an extra 80 customers.

A new bird of prey enclosure has been built to house the new 11 bird team that arrived in April.

Opening on summer Sundays for the first time has been a hit with visitors and this along with the new animals and some popular events has helped attract well more than 200,000 visitors this year.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm won eight industry awards throughout the year, including a Fairtrade Award for the café, a BIAZA services to education Award and three Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards for large visitor attraction, accessibility and Inclusivity and ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism.  

 Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm was founded by Anthony and Christina Bush in 1999 after being dairy farmers for 40 years on the farm which has now become the largest zoo in the south-west.

2019 marked the start of a new era with their son, Larry Bush taking the helm at the zoo as managing director after a 30-year career in business and as a charity director.

Larry said: “We’re delighted with the success we’ve seen in 2019 and everyone is now excited about 2020 as we begin an exciting new era for Noah’s Ark.

"In 2019, we opened Sundays for summertime from May 26-September 1.

"And in 2020, we will be open for even more Sundays from April 5-November 1."

'ARK THE HERALD: Noah's Ark zoo farm Christmas programme is with all the other festive details HERE.

STRIPEY SANTA BABY: Nola the zebra gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Friday, November 29, and both baby and mum are doing well. In keeping with the Christmas theme, the monochrome youngster has been fondly nick-named Sprout by the keepers. Nola, aged five, is a very protective mother and will keep very close to her baby allowing them to form a close bond. New-born foals are born with their stripes, although they are brown and white.  The stripes will turn to black as the young zebra gets older. He will live in the zebra enclosure and joins his father, Zebedee, Polly and her daughter, Zenah who was born in September 2018.  He has already met the neighbours, giraffes, and will surely be a great companion for Noah’s Ark’s youngest giraffe, three-month old Gilbert. Senior keeper Emma Ogbourne said “We are really happy to see Zebedee’s second born running around. The herd is getting along well, mum,Nola is doing well, and we’re excited to see if he and Gilbert become fast friends.”​

Three times a winner

Noah’s Ark the zoo farm  near Nailsea has won three exciting tourism awards for:

  • Large visitor attraction; 

  • Access and inclusive; and

  • Ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism. 

The best of Bristol, Bath and Somerset tourist attractions were represented at the awards evening of Thursday, November 21, the Marriott Hotel, Bristol.

A five-strong team from Noah’s Ark attended and were presented with three silver awards.

This award ceremony was highly anticipated following the announcement of the finalists last month.

And it follows success winning the Best For Little Kids In South West title in the 2019 out and about section of the Kids Family Favourites awards.

This is the first time Noah’s Ark has been recognised for efforts in access and inclusivity with the introduction in 2018 of the Ark For All initiative.

The Ark For All project first stage saw the installation of a changing places toilet, accessible play equipment and signage.

Noah’s Ark is devoted to passing on a passion for sustainability and teaching the next generation about the importance of protecting and conserving the natural world.

The zoo holds regular conservation events and has a free nature trail.

These events encourage children and their families to engage in the world around them and learn to protect it.

The whole team are delighted by the triple award success, ending the zoo’s 20th anniversary year on a high and motivating the team to continue to develop and improve into 2020.

Pumpkin patch farmers

Noah's Ark zoo farm staff have carved pumkins grown in elephant dung to make harvest festival decorations!

Last year, during its Pumpkin Fest, the African elephants ate lots of pumpkins, squash and other vegetables.  The seeds from these vegetables pass right through their digestive system, until they end up in the Elephant's poo!

Fast forward a year, and you can find Noah’s Ark decorated with more than 100 huge pumpkins.

These very pumpkins have been foraged for in a huge pile of elephant dung.

Elephants can poo up to 150kg per day.

This vast amount of waste is collected and forms a large compost pile that is used as fertiliser for our crops.

During the course of the past year, the fertile elephant dung gave the seeds all the nutrients they needed to grow into these fantastic pumpkins and squashes!

Last week, three members of staff got stuck in and pulled 100 squash plants out of the dung, ready for them to be cleaned and for our Park Rangers to decorate the zoo with them.

According to a new study, this method of seed dispersal may be the answer to re growing the rainforests.

With Brazilian Tapirs, munching on plants in the rainforests and then depositing little poo packets full of seeds around for regrowth, some believe this is a good start for fixing the damage to rainforests.

More than 100 vegetables were grown on the Elephant Dung Pile at Noah's Ark this year.

Come and see our Elephant Poo Pumpkin Patch throughout Pumpkin Fest until Saturday, November 2.

A baby boy is born at zoo

He is a bit wobbly on his legs but that is because he is only a few days old.

Keepers, staff and visitors at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm are celebrating the exciting arrival of a baby giraffe born at the zoo.

After coming up with four amazing names, the keepers wanted to open up the naming process to their visitors, so they asked their Facebook followers and the ‘little’ golden boy has been named Gilbert.

Gilbert was born on Monday afternoon, September 23, under close observation by the keepers in the privacy of the Giraffe House.

Mum Genny, aged 11, an experienced mother had a successful pregnancy, with first time father Kito, overlooking the birth.

Giraffes are a protected species, classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN Red List, under more threat than many people realise.

Wild populations are suffering from a continuing decline, with 111,500 remaining.

Since 1985, the total giraffe population has fallen by 30 per cent.
Five-year-old, Kito arrived at Noah’s Ark in 2018, from Dudley Zoo, where he has become a firm favourite with staff and visitors because of his silly ways and charm.

Dudley Zoo have had a baby of their own recently.

A little baby girl, who happens to be the auntie to Gilbert.

Kito’s new half sister was born the day before Gilbert and is currently enjoying her new surroundings with her mum Josie and Kito’s dad, Kubwa.
So far, baby Gilbert is happy spending his days getting used to his new enclosure, his keepers and neighbours.

He is currently content with running around, spending time with mum and dad and sleeping in a bundle of hay.

The public can visit Gilbert in the Giraffe house at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and find out more about him from the experienced keepers at the daily Giraffe Talk. 

Eating pumpkin elephant style

In preparation for Pumpkin Fest, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm gave their elephants a smashing treat.

The 14 stone and one metre tall, orange squash plant, was an exciting sight for Shaka, the African elephant, who was the first to approach the pumpkin.

After testing the weight with his trunk, he leaned on it with his foot before he cracked it, clean it half, with a stomp.

Zoo visitors Luke Downs grew the massive orange fruit over the summer in his Somerset garden.

He contacted the zoo to see if they could help make his dream come true of giving it to the elephants.

He was delighted when watching the bull elephant chomping down on the pumpkin.

Luke said: “This is actually quite a big deal for me and I’m very happy with how it has turned out.

"I’m hoping this could be a yearly occurrence for me and the elephants!”

After eating most of the pumpkin, Shaka sauntered off leaving a smaller amount for little cheeky M’Changa who came running over for a treat.

Watch the action on this Noah's Ark video.

Pride of Noah's Ark zoo farm

Two African lion cubs have hit their first milestone at Noah’s Ark on Tuesday, August 20.

Kojo and Tau are celebrating their first birthday at the Wraxall zoo farm.

The young lions are more active than adults and play behaviour is how they practice how to hunt.

The brothers like to stalk the keepers around the outside of the enclosure.

The cubs spend their days playing, eating and sleeping up to 18 hours a day.

Mum, Arusha is still quite protective of her cubs and keeps a watchful eye on them as they play.

Kojo is the more confident of the cubs and will often approach new things first and Tau hangs back to see if it's safe.

Tau is more likely to hide behind his family if he is unsure of anything.

For the first six months of their lives, the cubs lived in an enclosure with mum, while dad was kept separate for their safety.

When he was allowed back in, he wasn’t too sure about the two new arrivals.

Big cat keeper Emma Godsell said: “One of the funniest things I have seen from the cubs is when we were reintroducing Masai back to Arusha and to the two cubs. Masai started to approach Arusha slowly with his head lowered and making friendly noises and she started moving towards him in the same way so it was going perfectly.

"Then Kojo ran straight over to Masai and startled him,

"Masai turned and ran away back into the other field!

"During the next few days Masai was very wary of the cubs and it took him a while to realise that he could stand up to them, during this time the cubs had a lot of fun chasing their dad around.”

For now, the plan is to keep the family together at Noah’s Ark.

At the moment, there is no breeding programme for African lions.

Masai, aged 12 and Arusha, 11, who have been together for four years, were bred in order for them to have a more appropriate social grouping rather than just the pair of them as lions are such a social species.

Hopefully, the cubs will be able to stay with their mum and dad.

To facilitate this, the zoo are planning on giving the two cubs a contraceptive implant to prevent the surge of testosterone that would otherwise cause them to challenge their dad and cause him to push them out of the pride, which is what would naturally occur in the wild.

Arusha already has a contraceptive implant to prevent further breeding.

Cool for cats and all creatures great and small

As temperatures soar to up to 37 degrees across the UK today, we wanted to share some video content of some of the animals at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm  just outside Nailsea, cooling off in the heat.

From the elephants to the emus, the animals have been making the most of the on-site pools and other amenities to cope with today’s heatwave.

For those looking to keep cool, please find our animals top tips below, as demonstrated in the video:

  • Tip one: Drink water

  • Tip two: Take a cool bath

  • Tip three: Keep a water spray close by

  • Tip four: Keep your head cool 

  • Tip five: Go to your local outdoor pool for a swim

 

Spread across an incredible 100-acres and surrounded by lush farmland just outside Nailsea, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has transformed from a dairy farm to award-winning attraction over the past two decades.

It is now home to the big zoo animals.  
From the innovatively designed enclosures which are some of the largest in the UK, to the expansive open spaces and the varied collection of more than 100 animal species - including giraffes, a tiger, lions (including two cubs born in 2018), rhinos and a spectacled bear - size and quality is everything at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

It’s what comes from being family-owned and having conservation and sustainability at its heart.

Giant Anteater arrives at ark 

A giant anteater is the latest arrival at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm near Nailsea.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has welcomed the insectivorous mammal to the Viva South America exhibit.

The four year old male, named Oliver, arrived at the zoo on Monday, July 1, from Drusillas Park in the South East.

Drusillas Zoo animal manager Mark Kenward said: “We are really sad to have said goodbye to Oliver, but we know he has gone to loving hands at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

"We have really enjoyed working with their brilliant team and they have gone out of their way to welcome Oliver and make him feel happy and at home.”

The giant anteater has joined a mixed species exhibit, Viva South America, alongside Brazilian tapirs, capybara and mara.

While giant anteaters are solitary mammals originating from central and South America and happy to live by themselves, the Viva enclosure allows species to have separate indoor and outdoor areas.

They primarily eat ants and is also known as an Ant Bear!

Giant anteaters are vulnerable to extinction with numbers decreasing in the wild.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm curator Chris Wilkinson said “We are delighted to welcome Oliver to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

"It’s been great working with the expert keepers at Drusillas Park in the preparations for his arrival.

"He is an amazing addition to the zoo and I’m sure visitors and staff will be fascinated as they are incredible creatures."

"Giant anteaters are very unusual, and we will enjoy sharing his unique features with our visitors." 

"Giant Anteaters have no teeth, but eat with a 60cm long tongue, which they can flick in and out at up to 150 times per minute, consuming more than  30,000 ants a day."

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm attracts more than 200,000 visitors every year.

It was begun in 1999 and its animals include lions, tiger, bears, giraffe, zebras, rhinos and gibbons.

As well as the longest hedge maze in Europe, visitors can enjoy huge indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds.

For more details and to book online tickets click HERE.

Puppy love

Prairie Dog pups have been seen emerging from underground tunnels in their enclosure for the first time this summer at Noah's Ark zoo farm.

The exact number is not yet known but at least 13 have been spotted.

Prairie Dogs, native to the Americas, give birth underground.

Once the pups are approximately six weeks old, they emerge from their basement burrows.

Each female Prairie Dog gives birth to up to six pups, usually in April or May.

Prairie Dogs live in a complex networks of tunnels that they dig themselves.

Each tunnel usually has multiple openings and raised entrances to protect the 'town'; multiple groups of Prairie Dog families, from the elements and gives them extra height when on the lookout from predators.

They also have separate ‘rooms’ for sleeping, raising their babies, toileting and storing their food.

The babies have been delighting visitors and staff as they are very active and playful.  

PHOTO: Spectacled Bears Madidi and Rasu meet at their new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, near Nailsea, as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP). It looks like a match made in North Somerset! © Alistair Heap/PA Wire

Match making for bears

It’s love at first sight! Spectacled Bears Madidi (female) and Rasu (male) meet at their new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Bristol. Part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP), the two bears bonded instantly, showing promising signs of their breeding potential.

The Spectacled Bear is native to South America, but the species is classed as vulnerable on IUCN Red List - the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species - meaning they are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening survival and reproduction improve.

With latest estimates forecasting between 2,500-10,000 bears left in the wild, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is delighted to be welcoming the two bears and joining the worldwide effort to protect the future of the species.

The two bears have come to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, as part of the EEP, which coordinates the breeding of endangered species across European Zoos. An integrated initiative working across borders to increase levels of endangered species in captivity.

These cute bears are fondly referred to as Spectacled Bears (also known as Andean Bears) due to the white circles of fur that appear around their eyes.  

Two-year-old Madidi has come from Chester Zoo and arrived at her new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm last week, whereas Rasu arrived last month from Zurich Zoo.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm worked closely with Chester Zoo to create the ideal environment for the two bears to share and hopefully welcome their first bear cubs. It is one of the biggest Spectacled Bear enclosure in the UK. 

It is fair to say both bears are making the most of their generous enclosure. Since meeting her furry friend, Madidi has been exploring her new home, climbing up trees and surveying her new territory, as well as getting to know her new mate Rasu.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm curator Chris Wilkinson said: “We are delighted to receive such genetically important bears and be part of the global effort to protect the future of the species.

"Madidi is settling in well and the two bears have hit it off straight away, so we are looking forward to what may happen with their breeding potential.

"The process is all very natural, and it is promising that they are getting along so well this early on in the introduction process.

"We’re looking forward to the prospect of welcoming our own tiny Spectacled Bear cubs in the near future.”

BIRTHDAY PARTY: On Saturday, June 22, Noah's Ark is hosting a big birthday party to celebrate 20 years of business. Visitors are invited to come along to a fun packed day with face painting, outdoor games and have some cake. And if your name is Noah you get free entry! Commercial director Larry Bush said “We are very excited to hold a summer birthday party, to commemorate the past two decades, as well as some other great events. We are also celebrating by opening on Sundays throughout the summer this year, which we think is a great day for families to spend together. It’s been a big journey from cows to elephants and hopefully we will continue to grow in the future." As part of its celebration the zoo farm is hoping to create a picture timeline, starting from when it first opened as a farm centre, to now 20 years later as a zoo with elephants, giraffes, rhinos and lots of other big zoo animals. They are asking people to share their photo albums of visits to the zoo to make into a year-by-year 20th anniversary timeline display. Email your photos to danielle.vincent@noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk or

emily.burgin@noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk  alternatively post prints to Marketing Team, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, Clevedon Road, Wraxall, Bristol, BS48 1PG. Don't forget to include your name and contact details plus the date the image was 'captured'. They promise to use as many as possible put it can't be guaranteed.

FATHER'S DAY TREAT: Bring your dad to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm near Nailsea on this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16. This year is the first year we will be celebrating Father’s Day on a Sunday as we are open for Summer Sundays! On June 16th we are welcoming all kinds of dads, by offering a FREE bacon bap before 11.30am – collect your voucher at the ticket office on entry. Our giraffes are also hoping to meet our visitors for a spot of brunch; visitors will be able to feed our giraffes for £2 per person. And don’t forget to look out around the zoo, for some of our dad’s including Masai and his Lion cubs Kojo and Tau!

BIG BIRD: Linford, the rhea, has a new home at Noah's Ark. The big bird who was found living at a golf course in Worcestershire. The bird had been ‘puttering’ around wild since October 2018 when he managed to grab the headlines with the local press as he made Evesham Golf Club his new home. Needing to relocate the bird as he became fully grown, the golf club came to the Wraxall zoo farm for help. Curator, Chris Wilkinson and his team of keepers went on a road trip to pick up the flightless bird who because of his speed, is nicknamed Linford, after sprinter Linford Christie. Since Linford has been at the Zoo Farm, it has been discovered that Linford is actually a female and is now called Lynn; she has now been paired with Willow, a male rhea who already lives at Noah’s Ark. She is now comfortably in an enclosure alongside Willow and two Alpaca, Zara and Annalie.

Giant Easter egg hunt at zoo

Join Noah's Ark this Easter holiday up until Saturday, April 17, for an animal themed giant Easter egg hunt.

Park rangers have hidden more than 50 eggs around the zoo, so go see if you and your little ones, can find the six special animal print eggs and even the three golden eggs.

Once you have completed the trail you will receive a free chocolate egg and booklet about the story of Easter, from the Meaningful Chocolate Company.

Each week, the zoo farm will be giving away some great prizes, including its new Spring Animal Adoptions and one lucky visitor will receive a Keeper Experience.

Why not try our egg decorating, with all proceeds going towards our chosen charity, World Land Trust.

The eagle has landed

Olympic legend Eddie the Eagle swoop in to launch Wings of Wonder, the new birds of prey enclosure and display show at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm on Saturday, April 6.

The newly created and devised flying show was exceptionally well-received by visitors of all ages.

The display, which was curated and performed by expert Falconer Nathalie Denolf, treated spectators to an all-action flight show of impressive birds of prey including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. 

An enthralled audience were delighted as these powerful birds soared and swooped just over their heads often diving from great heights to chase the lure.

Eddie the Eagle cut the ribbon opening the new, improved and substantially enlarged facility which will home the existing collection, plus the new additions from Nathalie’s own flock, bringing the total to 15 winged wonders at Noah’s Ark near Nailsea.

Alongside the new enclosure, the display will be a huge attraction for the zoo with twice daily shows, this new show will feature indoor and outdoor flying displays from some amazing feathered friends including Mr Harry, a majestic golden Eagle hybrid.

The Wings of Wonder enclosure which features a contemplative garden and seating area to observe the birds was the vision of curator Chris Wilkinson. 

The Wings of Wonder bird of prey will fly twice a day in our new timetable of daily events and keeper talks.

Noah’s Ark is open Monday-Saturday 10:30am -5pm.

It is closed on Sundays, until this summer when it is open on Sundays from May 26-September 1.

PHOTOS: Phil Lightwood-Jones

NEVER ON A SUNDAY: Noah's Ark is opening this summer on Sundays - from Sunday, May 26. In an online questionaire eight months ago it said 'closed on Sunday as its a Christian organisation' but someone has had a change of heart...pictured is Eddie, Nathalie and Mr-Harry

Eddie the Eagle at Noah's Ark

This Easter prepared to be wowed by Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm new Wings Of Wonder flying display and a brand new specially designed birds of prey enclosure.

Launching on Saturday, April 6, with Eddie the Eagle swooping in to mark the occasion, the new display will feature indoor and outdoor flying displays from some amazing feathered friends including Mr Harry, a majestic Golden Eagle.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm will add the brand new bird of prey enclosure to its existing animal collection, which will home more than 15 winged wonders including eagles, falcons, hawks and owls.

A selection of these stunning birds will star in the new Wings Of Wonders birds of prey display, where visitors will be wowed by spectacular birds of flight. With two free shows daily, each flying display will show off the birds amazing natural abilities. With the eagles displaying the dizzy heights they can reach in an instant, whilst the falcons incredible speed and agility chasing ability will be on show.

Expect up close encounters, as wondrous birds fly overhead.  

Headed up by specialist falconer, Nathalie Denolf who recently joined the zoo from Belgium.

She brings extensive feathered knowledge along with a number of beautiful birds, which combined with the zoo’s existing collection, creates the impressive display of birds in flight.

Special guest, Eddie the Eagle, will take part in the display during the launch on Saturday.

Eddie is most famous for his 70m and 90m ski jumping at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Whilst Eddie came 58th, he personified the Olympic spirit for his determination to represent his country without any form of funding.

His British record remains unchallenged.

The self-titled film based on his life, came out in 2016 with Taron Egerton as Eddie and Hugh Jackman as his trainer.

To witness, this unique spectacle visit on Saturday at 12.30pm for the opening ceremony, followed by the launch of the new birds of prey display on the flying field at 2.30pm.

Following launch, the birds of prey enclosure will be open daily and the Wings of Wonder display will happen twice daily except Sundays.

Please check website for seasonal prices.

Onlinke tickets from £18, children (aged two plus) from £13.50 and family passes from £42.75.

Concessions available, and children under two and essential carers free.

Open Monday-Saturday 10.30am -5pm.

It is closed on Sundays, until summer when it is open on Sundays from May 26-September 1.

FAIR FOOD: Noah’s Ark zoo farm café has received a silver award in the Best South West Fair Trade Café/Restaurant catagory at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards. The Food Barn was awarded for its commitment to Fairtrade products across all catering outlets at Noah’s Ark. Since 2016, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has stocked solely Fairtrade hot drinks and serves 200,000 hot drinks a year. This is the first time, the zoo farm has been involved in the awards hosted by Nick Hewer. Bristol is a Fairtrade city and Noah’s Ark near Nails is proud to be supporting the Fairtrade Network.

Woo At Zoo

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm near Nailsea  is celebrating its love for the planet with the Woo At The Zoo event this half term.

From Thursday to Saturday, February 14-March 2, you can follow the heart trail around the zoo, to see all the amazing animal couples, including Arusha and Masai its lion couple and find out how they help with global conservation efforts and what you can do to help. 

Look out for the playful lion cubs, Kojo and Tau who are growing up really fast.

There will be a promise tree for people to make a promise to conservation as well as a competition to win a family day ticket, valid for a year.

If you get peckish, the café is open as usual, but for those who fancy something a bit special, why not book afternoon tea in the café from 2-4pm to enjoy delicious homemade sandwiches, cakes and scones with tea or coffee.

Please note afternoon tea must be pre-booked.

Tickets for day entry for Woo At The Zoo can also be pre booked online.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open Monday-Saturday 10:30am -5pm.

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SNOW LIONS: Animals at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm have made the most of their winter wonderland especially a few cheeky chaps who met the white stuff for the first time. The five month old African lion cubs, Kojo and Tau, experienced their first snow day this weekend. At first came trepidation, then came intrigue and finally the excitement of playing in the snow. The cubs were seen rolling and playing together, practicing their pouncing skills and even encouraged mum, Arusha, to come outside and join in the fun. Other animals seen enjoying the snow, were the Spectacled Bear brothers, Sonco and Tupa as well as the farm animals. Noah’s Ark attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year and is home to lions, tiger, bears, giraffe, zebras, rhinos and gibbons. As well as the longest hedge maze in Europe, visitors can enjoy huge indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds. For more details click HERE.

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FOLLOW LINK: Click on image to learn more about Green Christmas at Noah's Ark near Nailsea

Name African Lion twins for Christmas

Twin boys have been born at Noah's Ark.

The new-born African lion cubs arrived this summer but have yet to be named.

Noah’s Ark zoo farm in the outskirts of Nailsea has only just discovered that their two boisterous cubs born on August 20th are both boys.

Up until now the zoo keepers have had no interaction with the cubs as they needed to give mum, Arusha, space to bond with the cubs in private.

However at 10 weeks old the two cubs needed their first set of vaccinations. 

It was also important that the vet could give the cubs an initial health check.

It was not an easy task to separate mum from the two cubs, however the experienced keepers enticed Arusha away with some food while they carefully checked the two cubs over.

The cubs were both weighed at 10.5kg and 12.75kg, and the vet listened to their heartbeats. 

She was also able to check the sexes of the two cubs and found out the zoo had two boys.

The next stage for the zoo is to name the two cubs but they would like your help. Parents Masai and Arusha, are both named after places in Africa and the zoo would like to stick with this African theme.

Apart from that the choice is yours.

Submit your favourite name suggestions on the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Facebook page and the winners will get the exciting opportunity to take part in a Big Cat Keeper Experience at the zoo.

Noah’s Ark lead section keeper Emma Godsell said “We are so excited to hear the public’s name suggestions for our two boys.

"It’s going to be a lot of fun watching the two cubs growing up together.

"They are already practising their hunting skills out on each other and on mum.”

Come and meet the Lion cubs this Christmas at Noah’s Ark and get involved in their Green Christmas celebrations.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open Monday-Saturday, 10.30am5pm.

Zoo dentist cures tapir toothache

Dentist Peter Kertesz stepped up when Toby the tapir cracked one of his upper canine teeth.

It takes a very special dentist to operate on a 200kg Tapir.

Dr Kertesz is an experienced human dentist but since founding Zoodent International in 1985, he has worked with apes, elephants, bears and many more. Dr Kertesz visited Noah’s Ark zoo farm in 2015 to perform an operation on a tiger with toothache.

So when Toby was suffering with toothache the zoo knew just who to call for help.

The 17 year old tapir has been at Noah’s Ark near Nailsea since 2007.

He and his partner Tara have successfully reared two babies over the years.

When Toby cracked his canine tooth after being checked over by the vet it was decided the best course of action was to extract the tooth to avoid causing the animal any further pain.

The vet feared that if untreated the injury could get infected and become a serious health issue.

As tapirs have such large canines the Dr Kertesz actually had to remove a small piece of upper jaw bone to extract the tooth.

Noah’s Ark tapir keeper Emma Godsell said “We are very happy at the success of the operation and that Toby is recovering well.

"It was a pleasure to work with Peter again.”

The surgery was carried out in the zoo’s new South America House on view to the public with keepers on hand to explain the procedure.

Tara and Toby have a strong bond having been together for more than 11 years.

During Toby’s operation, Tara stood patiently outside the door calling for her partner.

Although all surgeries are risky the experienced team had the tooth out in only and hour and 40 minutes and Toby recovered quickly.

Toby and Tara were seen running around their enclosure together later that afternoon, eating happily.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open Monday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm.

It's a girl

A baby Zebra has been born at Noah’s Ark, near Nailsea.

The new female foal arrived in the early hours of Wednesday, September 19 when the zoo was closed to visitors.

The zoo farm is asking the public to help with the naming of the baby born to parents Polly and Zebedee.

Polly and friend Nola have been living at Wraxall since September 2017. New born foals are born with their stripes, although they appear brown and white, and the young are able to stand on their own within 15 minutes of birth.

Noah’s Ark head African animal keeper Emma Green said “We are overjoyed at the arrival of the foal.

"She is certainly a character and loves to frolic around the field close to mum.

"Zebedee also seems very happy with this addition to his herd.”

 This is the second addition this year to the zoo’s Africa section.

Ostrich couple Octavia and Oscar recently hatched a large clutch of eggs who can now be seen running around their enclosure behind the zebras.

Go to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Facebook page to vote for your favourite name.

You have tghe choice of three names:

  • Ziva - meaning guiding light

  • Zahara - meaning radiance

  • Zenah - meaning princess.

World Lion Day carnival

The Lord Mayor of Bristol joins Noah’s Ark on Saturday, August 4, for the return of its African carnival.
To celebrate World Lion Day, a pride of African performers will be at the Wraxall zoo farm. 
And actress, Green Party activist and artist Cleo Lake who took the official city office this May will be attending with her family.
The carnival will feature acrobats, dancers, drummers and giant African animals.
The performance has been created by Unika Dance Events, a London-based bespoke dance company.
The festivities are to celebrate World Lion Day and fundraise for Safina Lion Conservation Trust. 
Noah’s Ark is home to two lions, Masai and Arusha, who will be the stars of the day. 
Visitors can learn about the lions and tigers in a special big cat keeper talk at 1.30pm. 
And visitor can pose with the giant carved animals for photos and join in the parades.
Noah’s Ark head carnivore keeper Emma Godsell said: “Lions in the wild are vulnerable to extinction and so it is important that we are able to raise awareness of their struggle and fundraise for their conservation.

"What better way to do this than with an exciting African Carnival that visitors can enjoy."
Noah’s Ark is open Monday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm.