Paradise Park

Red Panda Cub Has First Checkup at Paradise Park

14222351_770555003047491_7428195131441096415_nPhoto and Video Credits: Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK, recently gave their new Red Panda cub his first vet check.

The cub’s keeper, Becky Waite, remarked, “This little cutie was quite a handful. The vet check went very well and I am happy to report that he’s a boy and is very healthy! He now has a microchip for lifelong identification.”

The cub, which has been named Koda (meaning 'little bear'), was born on July 10th to mum, Jai-Li, and dad, Lang Za. This is mum’s seventh cub; she has had three sets of twins in previous years, but this year she’s had just one.

Koda is now two months old, and in another month, he should achieve his full adult coloring. He will also start eating solid foods at that point, weaning at around six to eight months of age.

Director Alison Hales commented, “Paradise Park participates in the Red Panda European captive breeding programme, and this cub is a valuable addition. Swapping with other collections keeps the captive population healthy in case there might be a need for reintroductions in future years.

“One of our cubs from last year, Rusty, recently moved Krefeld Zoo in Germany to join a mate, and at the same time, we welcomed Suri who came from Port Lympne Reserve, the wildlife sanctuary in Kent.

“After a successful trial at the beginning of 2016, we plan to re-introduce Red Panda Experiences for 2017. These events raise money for the Red Panda Network, which is committed to the conservation of wild Red Pandas and their habitat, through the education and empowerment of local communities. So keep an eye on our website and Facebook/Twitter pages for more news.”

Fans can keep an eye on Koda and his Red Panda family via the Park’s live nest-webcam:


In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.

They live among bamboo forests and spend much of their time in trees. The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, and they only really ever come together to breed. As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

Cubs stay with their mother until the next litter is born the following summer. Males rarely help raise their young.

About two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods, so they have to eat a lot of it to survive. As bamboo is relatively low in calories, Red Pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping.

The species has been classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List since 2008. The global population is estimated at about 10,000 individuals, with a decreasing population trend.

One way to help is by joining the to spread the word, adopting a Red Panda or sponsoring a Forest Guardian. These guardians conduct awareness-building workshops in local villages and schools, do research for the Red Panda Network and establish community-based protected areas.

Endangered Cockatoo Hatches at Paradise Park

1_Yellow-crested Cockatoo chcik - crest is growing Paradise Park Cornwall

Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK has a new Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick. Park Keeper, Leanne, was more than happy to give the chubby little bird a clean bill of health at his nest check. She reported, “The parents are very attentive, so the chick has grown well, and it’s good to see feathers appearing now.”

Paradise Park Director, Alison Hales, explained further, “Yellow-crested Cockatoos are ‘Critically Endangered’ in the wild – this species and its sub-species now only remain in small, scattered populations through the islands of Indonesia. In an ongoing project with the World Parrot Trust, a recent survey indicated that the species is in much greater peril than previously thought, so this little chick is very important and will play a key role in the breeding program. Previous youngsters have been placed on breeding loan with other bird collections and zoos; they will be available if needed for a reintroduction scheme in the future.”

2_Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick Paradise Park Cornwall

3_Keeper Leanne with the Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick Paradise Park Cornwall

4_Ywllow-crested Cockatoo chick crest emerging Paradise ParkPhoto Credits: Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary Cornwall

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), also known as the ‘Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo’, is medium-sized (approximately 34 cm long) with white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill, and a retractile yellow or orange crest.

The species is found in wooded and cultivated areas of East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas.

The bird's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants.

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Nest Full of Endangered Conure Chicks at UK Park

1_Two Grey-breasted Conure chicks Paradise Park Cornwall

Five critically endangered Grey-breasted Conure chicks recently hatched at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall, UK.

Park Director, Alison Hales, remarked, “We first received this species at Paradise Park in 2015. We were keen to co-operate in the breeding scheme for these pretty Conures, because the status of the species in the wild is ‘Critically Endangered’. Sadly, surveys show that they are declining rapidly, owing to heavy trapping and ongoing habitat loss within their range.”

“Our pair came from Chester Zoo and produced five chicks in their first season here.”

Seven eggs were produced this season, and five chicks hatched. Eggs hatch in the order they are laid, so one is several days older and larger than the youngest. At their nest check, all had full crops and are competing successfully for food. Their parents are doing a great job.

Curator David Woolcock has already been working with other bird collections and has set up two further unrelated pairs at Paradise Park. This latest brood is a valuable addition to the captive population.

2_Grey-breasted Conure Chicks together Paradise Park Cornwall

3_Adult Grey-breasted Conure Paradise Park, Cornwall

4_Grey-breasted Conure group at Paradise Park in CornwallPhoto Credits: Paradise Park


The Grey-breasted Conure (Pyrrhura griseipectus), also known as Grey-breasted Parakeet, is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Ceará in northeastern Brazil and restricted to a few mountains, with relatively humid forest and woodland in a region otherwise dominated by arid Caatinga.

Until recently, it was considered a subspecies of the White-eared Parakeet, as Pyrrhura leucotis griseipectus. The split was based on their widely disjunct distributions, differences in measurement of bill, and subtle differences in color of crown, ear-coverts and chest.

The Grey-breasted Conure is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It has an extremely small wild population and occupies a very small known range. The population is estimated to be less than 250 adult birds.

Find out more about the species on the World Parrot Trust website:

First Purple Gallinule Chick for Paradise Park

1_Purple Gallinule adult feed chick Paradise Park Cornwall 1

Paradise Park, in Cornwall, UK, released news of a first for the park: the hatching of a Purple Gallinule chick.

Director Alison Hales explains, “We have a wonderful new addition, a Purple Gallinule chick! This is the first time this species has breed at Paradise Park. It is a couple of weeks old and it has been fascinating to see how well its parents care for it. Walking with it and offering tiny bits of food, then encouraging it to snuggle under their feathers to keep warm.”

Alison continues, “These birds have remarkably large feet. They are members of the rail family, their other name being the Purple Swamphen, which gives a clue to where their long toes prove useful. They are able to walk on floating vegetation, and clamber across reeds and swamps. They also use their feet to grab young shoots and bring the food towards their beak. Their diet is mainly leaves and shoots, but they will also take snails and even eggs from the nests of other water birds.”

2_Purple Gallinule adult feed chick Paradise Park Cornwall

3_Purple Gallinule adult feed chick Paradise Park Cornwall 2

4_Purple Gallinule adult Paradise Park CornwallPhoto Credits: Paradise Park


The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) is beautifully colored and native to southern and tropical freshwater wetlands. It is essentially a tropical marshbird that is found in parts of the southern United States, particularly near the Gulf of Mexico, but some go even farther afield. The Purple Gallinule, despite appearing to be an awkward flier, regularly turns up in northern parts of the United States and into southern Canada. It has even been found numerous times in Europe and South Africa.

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“Mary Had a (Very) Little Lamb!”

1_Ouessant Lamb Paradise Park Cornwall 5

A tiny Ouessant Lamb was born earlier this month at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall, UK.

Park Director, Nick Reynolds, commented, “We keep Ouessant Sheep in the Fun Farm here at Paradise Park. As one of the world's smallest breeds, their lambs are very tiny and very cute…hopefully visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of our new arrival.”

2_Ouessant Lamb Paradise Park Cornwall

3_Ouessant Lamb Paradise Park Cornwall 2

4_Ouessant Lamb Paradise Park Cornwall 3Photo Credits: Paradise Park

The Ouessant (or Ushant) is a breed of domestic sheep from the island of Ouessant off the coast of Brittany, France. Occasionally called the Breton Dwarf, it is one of the smallest breeds of sheep in the world. Rams are around 49 centimetres (19 in) tall at the shoulder, and the ewes about 45 centimetres (18 in).

Most Ouessant are black or dark brown in color, but white individuals do occur. The rams have relatively large horns, and ewes are polled.

The Ouessant existed exclusively on its home island until the beginning of the 20th century, and it is still a rare breed today.

The breed is primarily used for wool production. In Paris, the city government recently began using a small herd of Ouessant sheep to graze public lands.

5_Ouessant Lamb Paradise Park Cornwall 4


Turaco Chick Comes Out Of Its Shell

Great Blue Touraco Chick at Paradise Park CornwallWhat did zoo keepers do when two little chicks were reluctant to leave their eggs?  At Great Britain’s Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, keepers helped the tiny birds come out of their shells, ensuring the survival of two healthy Great Blue Turaco chicks.

Great Blue Touraco Chick feeding at Paradise Park Cornwall
Keeper Becky Waite with Great Blue Touraco Chick Paradise Park
Photo Credit:  Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Zoo keeper Becky Waite explains that the zoo’s adult female Turacos are temperamental nesters, sometimes pushing eggs out of the nest or failing to feed their chicks.  To give the Turaco chicks the best chance of survival, keepers decided to hand-rear the pair.

For the first ten days, keepers fed the chicks moistened pelleted food.  Gradually, the chicks were introduced to greens and steamed broccoli, then bits of banana, mango, figs, and blueberries.

Turacos are altricial, meaning the young cannot move or feed themselves after hatching and require care from their parents (or zoo keepers).  The chicks start out with sparse downy feathers, which are replaced by smooth feathers when the chick fledge (leave the nest).

Great Blue Turacos are native to western and central Africa and are the largest of all Turaco species.  These birds are not considered under threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the chick below.

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Humboldt Penguin Chicks Stick Together at Paradise Park

Penguin Chicks at Paradise Park Hayle Cornwall

Staff at Paradise Park, in Hayle, Cornwall, UK, are delighted to have baby Humboldt Penguin chicks.

Curator David Woolcock said, “These two wonderful little characters are proving very popular with visitors. They are now ten weeks old and have been given the Peruvian names Miski and Aurora.”

Penguin Chicks at Paradise Park Hayle Cornwall 2

Penguin Chick and Keeper at Paradise Park HAyle Cornwall

Young Penguin chicks at Paradise Park CornwallPhoto Credits: Paradise Park

David continued, “They eat around 200g of fresh fish a day and are being hand-reared, as the eggs were laid outside the nesting caves and not protected from weather or disturbance.”

“Another younger chick, called Poppy, was not putting on enough weight when she was with her parents, so the decision was taken to hand-rear her as well. One other chick is being successfully reared by its parents in the nest.”

When chicks are in the nest they have fluffy grey down feathers. It takes about three months for them to leave their nests, and by this time they have developed the waterproof plumage they need for swimming. Juveniles are grey and white, only developing the distinctive black and white penguin plumage at a year old. The pattern of dark speckles, on their lower chest, is unique to each individual penguin.

Miski and Aurora are now being introduced to the Humboldt Penguin group at Paradise Park, and they are making regular appearances at the twice daily feeding times.

The Humboldt Penguin is native to South America and breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin, and the Galapagos Penguin. Its name is derived from the cold water current it swims in, which is named after explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Humboldt Penguins are medium sized, growing to 22 to 28 inches (56 to 70 cm) long and a weight of 8 to 13 lbs (3.6 to 5.9 kg).

They are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species. Their declining population is due to several factors: over-fishing, climate change, and ocean acidification. The Humboldt Penguin population is also losing numbers due to habitat destruction.

Young Penguin chick at Paradise Park Cornwall