We had lots of young visitors on site this week for our Owlets session. Here at Secret World we believe in educating the younger generation, to inspire them to get outdoors and take an interest in nature. Owlets is our new under 5’s group, where our youngest supporters can learn more about wildlife and how to look after it. This week they were joined by a special guest, our barn owl Zazoo. He seemed to rather enjoy reading ‘The owl who was afraid of the dark’, and the children enjoyed learning more about him. Zazoo is one of our resident birds of prey, and goes out on talks in the community with our bird handlers. Like our other resident birds of prey he was bred in captivity and then came to us, so he cannot be released.
One casualty needing our help this week was Otis, a 3 week old tawny owl. He was found sitting at the bottom of a tree covered in flies. Our response driver Graeme went to his rescue, and when Otis arrived onsite animal carer Katie found that he was matted with fly eggs. After initial fluid therapy and painstakingly trying to remove the eggs without success, she decided that the only way to remove them thoroughly was with neat fairy liquid, a fine tooth brush and a shower. This worked brilliantly, however the poor little soul looked a sorry state! After sitting under a heat lamp for a while to dry out, he was transferred to an incubator overnight to keep warm. By morning he had returned to a fluffier state, and was eating well. Otis will stay with us until late summer when he will be released. In the meantime he will require lots of specialist food, a specialist eye test by the vet before he is released, and time in our pre-release flight pen to strengthen up his wings.
Our animal care staff and volunteers are being kept busy at the moment by the 74 corvids we currently have onsite. We have also had in 11 baby hoglets this week. Of those 7 are from the same litter, which is quite unusual!
The fundraising team have been busy planning for our Summer Party. This year the theme is Wildlife Wonders, and it takes place on Sunday August 26th and Monday August 27th. There will be fascinating talks about the animals we help, games and nature activities, stalls and face painting. We hope to see lots of you there, and are keeping our fingers crossed for a sunny day!