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  1. You may have heard about the terrible fire at Chester Zoo on Saturday 15 December 2017.

    Sadly, some animals situated close to the fire did not make it - insects, frogs, birds and fish. 

    Chester Zoo says that visitors were immediately evacuated, and keepers were able to encourage the mammal species away from the fire to safety, including the critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques, endangered silvery gibbons and birds such as rhinoceros hornbills.  

    Donate to help Chester Zoo after the fire

    The zoo has featured in a television series and one of the things which I found very endearing about it was the way the keepers spoke about the animals in their care.   My thoughts are with you all, sending big hugs and love to you all.  It must have been a very frightening experience.

    You can donate here to help Chester Zoo. 

    You can also make a donation via text. Just send WILD34 £5 to 70070.

    For the official statement and news from Chester Zoo, click here

     

     

  2. Don’t miss this!

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, 18 and 19 December 2018, don’t miss the opportunity to see Gordon Buchanan as he re-habilitates six orphaned grizzly bears into the Russian wilderness.

    The programme is called Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me and it’s at 9pm on BBC2 and it should be absolutely amazing.

    Gordon joins the Pazhetnovs, a family of biologists, who work to re-habilitate orphaned baby cubs.

    There are over 100,000 grizzlies in Russia but there is increasing conflict with humans as people encroach into the wilderness.  Cubs are abandoned every year as their mothers are disturbed in their dens.


    Bear Almanac: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bears of the World from Amazon

    The Pazhetnovs have been helping bears for 30 years and when Gordon arrives in February, they have rescued 6 cubs. 

    They are five weeks old and weigh less than a bag of sugar each.  Two of them were dumped in a bin in Moscow.  Two were found outside a vets in a box in St Petersburg.  Two were handed in by loggers who scared their mum away.

    So the task at hand is to introduce the cubs to the wild in nine months.   Will Gordon succeed?

    The second episode shows the bears going through a training programme, learning how to forage and how to swim.  They also have to put on enough weight to make it through the Russian winter.

    And what’s more, there’s a test at the end to see if they are ready to survive in the wild.   Will they all make it?

    Visit the Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me’s website – there are some clips from the episodes you can watch if you can’t wait. 

    PS You can meet a bear at Dartmoor Zoo in Devon with a Bear Encounter for Two - Virgin Experience Days have a gift experience for two people for £129.00.   This is a great chance to meet Hayley the bear, watch a training session and provide food and enrichment for her.  Find out more here from Virgin Experience Days

    Bear Encounter for Two at Dartmoor ZooBear Encounter for Two at Dartmoor Zoo
    from Virgin Experience Days

     

  3. WOOF!   Here's Big Barking news from Into the Blue.   They are a gift experience company and they are giving 20% off experiences up to £250 .

    Go fetch your 20% off Into the Blue experiences*

    Go fetch your 20% off Into the Blue experiences*

    Husky experiences, Sheepdog experiences, Meerkats, Bee-keeping,
    horses, keeper for the day and more!

    Use the code 'ITBTINSEL20'

    They also have Falconry Experiences to choose from too - lots of them, around the country...

    Fly away to see the Falconry Experiences from Into the Blue
    Fly away to see the Falconry Experiences from Into the Blue

    Use the code 'ITBTINSEL20'  - it's available until midnight  on Sunday 16th December 2018.

    The code will give 20% off any* experience purchase UP TO £250.00  (there is no minimum spend).

    Trot away to Into the Blue to see their gift expereinces

    *The code does not apply to these products.

     

     

  4. Looking through the newsletter from the NAWT (the National Animal Welfare Trust), it had a very helpful cut out and keep guide to rabbit winter care.

    The NAWT operates 6 re-homing centres across the south of England in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Essex, Hertfordshire and Somerset.  As well as cats, dogs, birds and field animals, they also have rabbits and guinea pigs looking for homes.  

    At the time of writing this, Snowy was looking for a new home
    At the time of writing this,
    Snowy was looking for a new home
    Look at the rabbits and guinea pigs wanting a home here

    I hope they won’t mind but I’ve put some of their tips on winter bunny care which featured in the newsletter here:

    • Watch the weather – make sure you’ve got blankets at the ready to safely cover the hutch if we have another cold snap
    • Check the inside of the hutch for signs of leaks
    • Move the hutch so a sheltered position where there’s protection from the elements
    • Keep it off the ground to stop damp and cold
    • Make sure it’s the winter run is secure – foxes get hungrier in winter
    • Line the bottom of the hutch with blankets or newspapers in cold spells – you could even use a rabbit-safe heat pad for the colder times
    • Check bedding for damp patches so that the hutch stays dry
    • Watch your rabbit’s water bottles – they can freeze in cold weather.  Keep spares at the ready just in case.
    • Ask your vet if your bunny needs bigger portions in the winter months.

    If you get a chance, do hop off to visit the NAWT’s website

    There’s lots of helpful information there and also details on what to do if you or you & your company want to volunteer!   

    What's more, they've got some very helpful advice for young people who want to do something to help and really volunteer, which is great - there's lots of things that young people can do.

    They have some great products in their shop, including those fabulous cards from the Little Dog Laughed range – I love those, they are so clever.

    And if you’re looking for meaningful gifts for an animal lover, they have Animal Sponsorships – you can sponsor an animal for a year, feed an animal for a year and provide animal training and enrichment training for a year. 

     

  5. If you're looking for a really special gift experience idea for two big cat lovers, perhaps for a very special birthday or anniversary, what about giving them a Weekend or Weekday Luxury Lodge Stay with the Big Cat Sanctuary?

    Virgin Experience Days have just added this to their list of gift experiences:

    Weekday Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two at The Big Cat Sanctuary for £750

    Weekday Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two at The Big Cat Sanctuary

     What's included in the Weekday Luxury Lodge Stay for £750

    • Weekday Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two at The Big Cat Sanctuary
    • One night accommodation in a luxury Double Lodge
    • Afternoon tea for two with prosecco, overlooking the lion enclosure
    • VIP guided tour of the sanctuary with unique activities
    • Pre-dinner drinks and a three-course meal, face-to-face with African lions
    • Full English breakfast
    • Hand-feeding experience
    • Experience gift pack including personalised voucher and message card
    • Cancellation indemnity

    For the Weekday experience, your overnight stay is available Monday Wednesday and Thursday. Exclusions may apply.  

    Check-in from 14.30 on the day of arrival and check out the following morning by 11.00.

    Weekend Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two at The Big Cat Sanctuary for £850

    Weekend Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two at The Big Cat Sanctuary

    • Weekend Big Cat Sanctuary Luxury Lodge Stay with Dining and Hand Feeding Experience for Two
    • One night accommodation in a luxury Double Lodge
    • Afternoon tea for two with prosecco, overlooking the lion enclosure
    • VIP guided tour of the sanctuary with unique activities
    • Pre-dinner drinks and a three-course meal, face-to-face with African lions
    • Full English breakfast
    • Hand-feeding experience
    • Experience gift pack including personalised voucher and message card
    • Cancellation indemnity

    For the weekend experience, your overnight stay is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Exclusions may apply.

    For both experiences, vouchers are valid for 9 months from the date of issue and you must have booked and taken your experience before the expiry date.  Virgin Experience Days recommend you book at least four weeks in advance to ensure that dates are available. All bookings are subject to availability.

    So this is a great way to get closer to big cats without leaving the UK and have a short break with a difference!  

    Visit Virgin Experience Days for more information on all their big cat experiences - they have other experiences at the Big Cat Sanctuary and elsewhere in the UK without the overnight stay. 

     

     

  6. The magnificent Shire horses at the Wimpole Estate 

    The Shire is one of Britain's rare breeds and the beautiful Shire horses above live at the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire.

    They are busy doing carriage rides, experience days and ridden work, such as musical ride displays. 

    This is Lady at Wimpole Estate
    This is Lady at Wimpole Estate

    They spend their days in the field or working, or on display at the farm, so visitors can say hello.  The plan is to expand their work into agricultural jobs such as harrowing and ploughing.

    This is Queenie at Wimpole Estate
    This is Queenie

    Visitors love them, and the National Trust needs your help to care for them.  They all reuqire food, bedding, dental visits, vaccinations and new shoes to keep them happy and well. 

    This is Murphy at Wimpole Estate
    This is Murphy at Wimpole Estate

    So if you're looking for a gift for a horse lover, why not consider sponsoring one of the Shire Horses or donating to the Estate's Heavy Horse Appeal?  

    Here's Jasper at Wimpole Estate
    Here's Jasper at Wimpole Estate

    and Harry (who loves a good gallop)
    This is Harry at Wimpole Estate

  7. There’s great excitement at Longleat Safari Park in the UK, as the koalas from Australia have arrived safely in the UK and they are settling in.

    Longleat teamed up with the Southern Australian Government Cleland Wildlife Park to launch and international breeding and awareness programme for koalas. 

    As part of this programme, 5 Southern Koalas made the journey from Adelaide to Longleat.
      


    Longleat is acting as a European hub for the newly created International Koala Centre of Excellence (IKCE for short).

    IKCE aims to enhance the management and conservation of koalas to ensure their long term future in the wild, so this is a very important development. 

    The purpose built facility for the Koalas will open in the spring of 2019 - so you can't see them yet!

    Buy Tickets for the Longleat Festival of Light from Picniq.co.uk which takes place on selected dates from 10 November 2018 to 6 January 2019 (up to 20% off with Picniq.co.uk)
    Please check the T&Cs, Important Information, Opening Times etc before you buy

     

  8. Escape the modern world and discover the beauties and wonders of nature.

    Take a walk through the beautiful woodlands and meadows of Lee Valley Park. 

    2 for 1 Woodland Walk and Owl Experience at Lee Valley Park

    One of the venue’s barn owls will be going with you, and you’ll see the owl flying freely in their natural environment before calling them down to your leather gloved hand.  Get close up and personal with these beautiful birds of prey – this is a great introduction to the world of falconry!

    2for1 Woodland Walk and Owl Flying Experience at Lee Valley

    The experience location is Enfield in Greater London.

    And what’s more – Buy a Gift are doing a 2 for 1 offer on this Woodland Walk and Owl Flying Experience at Lee Valley Park.   For ONLY £45 instead of £90. That’s an incredible offer.  

    2for1 Woodland Walk and Owl Flying Experience at Lee Valley

    Fly away to Buy a Gift here and find out more.  

    Vouchers are for 2 people and valid for 10 months.

  9. Buy a Gift are offering a 15% discount on products from all categories until 11th November 2018.

    Use the code LAUNCH15 to get 15% discount on products from all categories.

    Walk off to Buy a Gift to view their experiences
    H
    ave a Family Adventure at Alpaca Annie in Kent

    Buy a Gift have a huge range of experiences – in fact there are over 4,500 of them, with animal experiences included.  

    T&C's:  This discount code is not applicable on some non-discountable products.

     

     

  10. Hedgehog Close from BHPS won the prestigious Charity Film Award this summer.

    Hedgehog Close was conceived and produced by Zest Productions, with the support of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the Environment Trust. It was voiced over by Gordon Buchanan.   A big well done to eveyrone involved in the film.  You can watch it here:



    If you want to help hedgehogs, there are a couple of petitions you can sign - find out more here.

    Meantime, you could also look to see what you can to do help hedgehogs at Hedgehog Street.  This is run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES.  Over 53,000 people have become Hedgehog Champions! 

    Find out more at Hedgehog Street.