By Bernie Bell
It’s been a complicated business getting them there, as, due to their status as an endangered species, folk can’t just acquire Lemurs and put them on display without special permission – and a good thing too!
The animals at Fern Valley have either been rescued from neglectful or ill-informed owners, presented to the Centre by owners who realised they couldn’t cope with exotic animals, or, as with the Lemurs, re-homed when the zoo in which they lived, could no longer accommodate them, for one reason or another.
The Lemurs were well cared for at Chester Zoo, but there we too many females in one group, and they started to fight! I’m saying ‘nowt. It looks like they’ve taken to their accommodation at Fern Valley, and not surprisingly – as they have plenty of room to scamper, sit, scratch, and cuddle up together, when they want to do that.
I hoped to get a pic of them doing the Lemur thing – arms and legs out, sideways skip, but – they move too fast for that!
They have an outdoor area, with branches and ropes to run along, which they enjoy when the sun shines.
This leads to an indoor area
Then a sky-way, right across the room
to another indoor area, which is next to the tea-room.
If you sit at one of the top tables in the tea-room, you might find the Lemurs, watching you
The tea-room is open to the public – not just for those who are visiting the animals. It has great views, the food is very tasty, and presented in a charming mixture of old-fashioned crockery
And, it doesn’t break the bank. When the lass said it came to £7.90, we thought she must be mistaken, but no, it really was £7.90 for a substantial helping of beans on toast, Egg mayonnaise sandwiches ( they charged less because I didn’t have the salad garnish – I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about pointless salad garnish), and two drinks. While I’m singing the praises of the Fern Valley tea-room, I’ll mention that it’s one of the few places where I eat egg sandwiches. I don’t know where they get their eggs from, but they’re proper.
I meant to just write of the Lemurs as new arrivals, but there were some other birds and beasts there, which we hadn’t seen before.
The Common Canaries, who were singing their little heads off, filling the room with trilling sound……..
An unwanted African Clawed Frog – who could not want him? The fact is, it would have been better if the owner didn’t take him on in the first place – this frog has specific needs, and takes a lot more looking after than the frogs we’re used to, in our gardens.
At least these creatures were just unwanted, and the owners found a home for them. The Dagu, had a very hard time
But they now play in their wheel, chump on good things from their bowl, and seem to enjoy watching the people, watching them……
The tale of Frosty the Corn Snake, could have had a much worse ending – he was lucky – he was found, and given a home.
There was also a piece of wall art which we hadn’t noticed before, made from tiny shells, and an exhibition, encouraging the public to have a care for the environment, whether that includes exotic wildlife, or not.
There’s a lot going on at Fern Valley Wildlife Centre – https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/03/15/something-different-near-tingwall/ And – it’s a good place to go, if the weather isn’t being kind!
Facebook page: Fernvalley Tea Room