New in Town…goes Wild

Monday, 27th April 2015

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My good friend Oscar had a birthday recently. He turned seven so I invited him with his Mum to Moseley for a birth-day-out. When we spoke on the phone he said he wanted to ‘see animals’ so I decided we should visit the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, formerly the Nature Centre, on the Pershore Road. I hadn’t been yet despite it being so very close.

We met in the village and walked through Moseley Park to Edgbaston, then through Cannon Hill Park to get there. I knew very little before arriving, I was confident there’d be animals but beyond that…

Well, I was mightily impressed, and we saw lots of animals. We had to double back once or twice when we’d missed something. Seven-year-olds race about like chimpanzees and you have to kind of reign them in, slow them down a little to read anything rather than just gawp but his excitement and need to climb around was infectious and irrepressible.

From memory, the animals to see included, squirrel monkeys who can catch fruit in their hands when it’s thrown to them by zookeepers, a red panda who hides high up in the trees, and Meerkats standing guard rather than comparing market rates. From checking the website there’s also: Aloatran Gentle Lemurs, Yellow Breasted Capuchin Monkeys, and Cotton Topped Tamarins, among others. The park is raising awareness of the plight of species like these, and is focusing on helping save endangered species through EEP captive breeding programmes (see website for more information).

To my eyes the place is excellent and the animals well cared for by staff who take pride in their work. Because of all this it’s a gem deserving of a visit: small enough to fully explore and sense the hard work happening for our furry (and not so furry) friends but big enough to hold your interest and teach you something. I think I will go again.

Tickets are great value. See website for full listings but as a guide: Adults £5.50, Concessions £4.50, Child aged 3-15 years inclusive £3.00 and Family Day Ticket £18.00.

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