Monthly Archives: July 2015


Name: Camilla
Common Name: Spectacled Caiman
Latin Name: Caiman crocodilus
About: Camilla is a Spectacled Caiman who was found dumped at the entrance to a zoo inside a duvet case.

When we received the call to ask if we could take Camilla she was already 4’9″ and was missing approximately 8″ of tail which looked to have been bitten off when she was younger.

It is likely that Camilla was being kept by a private keeper illegally without a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence.

Camilla has been fortunate as she has been found a new home at the Crocodile Sanctuary at Sealife Centre in Weymouth, where she has been placed on loan by ourselves.

Cape Ground Squirrel

Name: Cape Ground Squirrel
Common Name: Cape Ground Squirrel
Latin Name: Xerus inauris
About: A group of 9 Cape Ground Squirrel were seized by DEFRA while transiting through Heathrow.

After Quarantine they were sucessfully re-homed to a UK zoo which have since established a second colony at another collection.

Madagascan Tree Boa

Name: Madagascan Tree Boa
Common Name: Madagascar Tree Boa
Latin Name: Sanzinia madagascariensis
About: During autumn of 2007 we were contacted by a college in the UK who had a pair of Madagascar Tree Boa’s, each in excess of 1.2m.

The Boas had arrived at the college years earlier after being seized by Dutch Customs as they were smuggled into Holland.

After discussions with the college it was decided that we should try to place them in a more suitable home.

They are an annex A species which means that they are offered the strictest of protection from illegal trade and it was felt that they were unlikely to breed at the college and that a more common species would be better suited to educational purposes.

In November of 2007 they were collected from their home at the college and transported in heated boxes to their new home where they have settled nicely and it is hoped will breed within the next year.

Since their move we have been contacted by another college who also have a single male, it is hoped that he will be joining a lone female at a zoo later this year.

Pepe & Fleur

Name: Pepe & Fleur
Common Name: Striped Skunks
Latin Name: Mephitis mephitis
About: Pepe & Fleur arrived with us at 9 months old, de-scented and tame.

They had received the best of care with their previous owner, but she was forced to re-home them due to ill health.

They will be both staying with us permanently to help with our schools educational visits.

During these visits they will be working had to convince the children that their poor reputation is not deserved.

Leopard Tortoise

Name: Leopard Tortoise
Common Name: Leopard Tortoise
Latin Name: Geochelone pardalis
About: In January 2008, we accepted in a pair of Leopard Tortoises from a member of the public.

These tortoises were captive bred and had grown to about 30cm in length. Large leopard tortoises can reach up to 20kg in weight and around 60cm in length!

They have now left us and gone to their new home with a purpose built indoor enclosure kitted out with top of the range UV lighting and heating.

Common Marmoset

Name: Common Marmoset
Common Name: Common Marmoset
Latin Name: Callithrix jacchus
About: During 2007 we had our busiest year ever for Common Marmosets. We received 7 in for re-homing in a number of batches.

The decision was taken to try to integrate the different groups, thus allowing a more natural colony to form. This was done using a number of joined aviaries, with each pair or group occupying a separate run. Over a period of 4 weeks they were allowed to communicate with each other, groom each other through the bars until finally the time came to let them in with each other. There was a small amount of squabbling initially, but they soon settled down and now function as a family group.

A number of these monkeys had been removed from their parents, sold then kept individually in little more than bird cages, thus deprived of any social interaction, which is normally essential for all primates.

Now that we have established this group at a zoo we will be eventually adding any additional Common Marmosets that we receive this year to the colony.

If you see a marmoset for sale, please do not buy it as a pet. They are not suitable as solitary animals or ‘pets’.

Red-breasted Goose

Name: Red-breasted Goose
Common Name: Red-breasted Goose
Latin Name: Branta ruficollis
About: 6 Red Breasted Geese were re-homed to an agricultural college for use in their animal care and vet nurse courses.

They originally were donated to us by a private breeder who requested that they be used for educational purposes.

The Red-breasted Goose is considered a Vulnerable species by the IUCN. Over 80% of the population roost during the winter at just five sites, with nearby feeding areas threatened by changes in land-use. In addition, there has been a strong decline in numbers in the last decade. which means that it is more important than ever to maintain captive groups.

Egyptian Fruit Bat

Name: Egyptian Fruit Bat
Common Name: Egyptian Fruit Bat
Latin Name: Rousettus aegyptiacus
About: In 2004 a shipment containing approximately 200 Egyptian Fruit Bats was stopped at Heathrow Airport by DEFRA on welfare & health grounds.

It was agreed that British Airways would sponsor the cost of quarantine and food for 6 months if we could re-home them once they were given the all clear.

Due to the commitment and dedication of the staff at the Animal Reception Centre, Defra staff & Vets and British Airways over 160 of these bats were nursed back to health and completed quarantine.

They were then dispersed amongst a number of collections here in the UK and the chances are that if you see Egyptian Fruit Bats at a Zoo in the UK, at least some of them may have come from this shipment.

African Pygmy Dormouse

Name: African Pygmy Dormouse
Common Name: African Pygmy Dormouse
Latin Name: Graphiurus Murinus
About: During 2003 a transit shipment containing about 100 African pygmy dormouse was detained at Heathrow airport by animal health officers due to the poor condition that they were in.

Once the quarantine period was over only about 20 had survived due to the poor condition they had been in on arrival. They were re-homed to 2 different UK zoos which both now have thriving colonies.

Please note that the image is not of the original mice on the shipment. The Mouse in the image is called “Fantastic Mr Rainbow Fox the Second” and belongs to Michelle Pickering a private keeper.

Cape Ground Squirrel

Name: Cape Ground Squirrel
Common Name: Cape Ground Squirrel
Latin Name: Xerus inauris
About: A group of 9 Cape Ground Squirrel were seized by DEFRA while transiting through Heathrow.

After Quarantine they were sucessfully re-homed to a UK zoo which have since established a second colony at another collection.