New faces to see at wildlife centre

By Kevin Black in Community News

The spring and summer has brought many new faces to the British Wildlife Centre (BWC), on the A22 near Lingfield- some furry, some feathered, and all gorgeous!

The Centre has enjoyed great breeding success with owls; five healthy Little Owl chicks hatched in May, with all but one going on to other centres where they will do sterling work educating the public about the UK’s smallest resident owl. Five Long-Eared Owl chicks were hatched this season and hand-reared. Again, four have moved on to other centres. Visitors can see and learn all about the two remaining young owls as they will be out with the keepers during the summer.

Mammal arrivals include red deer calves, now on view in the Deer Park, as well as little Muntjac fawns who share a wooded area called The Copse with the free-range red squirrels. The squirrels have produced many litters of kits, now out and about in this specially designed walk-through enclosure.

In addition to the animals bred at the Centre, a few youngsters have been brought in, including Ginny the baby Weasel. Her mother was fatally hit by a car, with Ginny still in her mouth. By some miracle Ginny survived and now has a permanent home at the BWC, where she has become one of their friendliest weasels!

Over spring the BWC took in five orphaned badger cubs, two arrived in a very bad state; starving and covered in fleas and ticks. But a short period of intensive care by the keeper team led to a full recovery. All five of these sociable, playful cubs are enjoying life together off-display to help them settle in, after which they will be introduced to the observation sett over summer.

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